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About Peter Barrios-Lech

I am interested in the pragmatics and sociolinguistics of the Latin and Greek languages. In other words, I ask how various factors affected what speakers of these ancient languages said, and how they said it. Those factors include, primarily, the identity of speaker and addressee and their relationship (familial, friendship, master-slave, etc.) with each other. Ancient drama proves to be very useful in answering this question, since it to some extent reflects the spoken language, and features characters of various social statuses interacting with each other.
My first book, Linguistic Interaction in Roman Comedy, (Cambridge UP, 2016) explores "contact" Latin, that is, the phrases and words through which people relate to one another. My second book, Linguistic Interaction in Greek New Comedy, now in progress, deals with contact phrases in Greek.
I have also written about puns in Roman literature, and a recent article on debts in Catullus' poem 8 to Menander has gotten me really interested in the impact of Greek culture on the Rome of the Republic.
I maintain an active interest in spoken Latin, partly through sporadically writing Latin poetry, but mainly as co-director of the Conventiculum Bostoniense; check out what we do at


Present Associate Professor of Classics, College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts Boston

Curriculum Vitae

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2010 PhD, Brown University ‐ Classics
1999 BA, Columbia University ‐ Classics

Contact Information

Telephone: 617-287-6124
Office Location: M-4-604


Books (1)

Articles (12)

Contributions to Books (1)

Reviews (4)

Ancillary Material for Published Work (3)

Click here for Appendices and other Subsidia for my published work.

Creative Work (1)