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Teddy Fassberg *19

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I joined the department in 2014 after receiving a BA in philosophy and classics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where I also spent a number of years in the linguistics department. My dissertation explores the origins of prose. The story that is typically told is that early Greek prose was primitive and derivative and in any event far less prestigious than poetry – but why, then, would anyone in the sixth century use it if it only gained authority in the fifth? I argue that Greeks in the archaic period did not consider their prose “prosaic”, and attempt to trace the process by which prose in the western tradition came to be “prosaic”.

At the other end of antiquity I’m interested in Greco-Arabic philology, as well as the broader reception of Hellenism in early Islam. I’ve written about Theodore ibn Basīl’s neglected Arabic translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, forthcoming in Classical Philology; and made a case that the great Imru’ al-Qays (“Homer was the Greek Imru’ al-Qays”, wrote a prominent 13th-century scholar) died a Greek death, forthcoming in JAOS. More importantly, I wrote the entry on “the language of Hebrew sports writing” in Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics.