Hans Bork

A photo of Hans Bork

My Classics career began as I was working on my degree in English literature, when I became interested in Alfred’s translations of Latin texts into Old English.  It fascinated me that someone in a culture so distant in time and space from ancient Rome would work so hard to make Latin texts available to those who did not know the language.  Naturally, I thought the only reasonable course was to learn Latin and Greek myself, to see what all the fuss was about; I liked them so much that I ended up sidetracked from my original path.  Luckily, I now have no shortage of new and interesting paths to pursue, and my current research still springs from that early interest: namely, how speakers express personal identity, especially social class, ethnicity, and cultural affiliation, through individual idiom.  I am particularly curious about how non-elite and marginalized speakers viewed and used language in the ancient world, and this feeds into my broader love of Roman comedy and early Latin.  Similarly, my interest in language as a medium has led me to pursue formal linguistics and Indo-European studies.  All these scholarly impulses have come together in my dissertation project, which examines the use, social background, and meaning of abuse language in Roman comedy. 


  • Ph.D. Candidate (ABD), Classics
  • M.A., Classics, Washington University in St. Louis, 2011
    • Master’s Thesis: “Wind, Wave, and Generative Metaphor in Greek”
  • B.A., Classics; English Literature (dual degree), University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2009


Talks and Presentations

  • “Plautine Prayers and Holy Jokes”, Society for Classical Studies meeting, Boston, 2018
  • “Petty Theft in Plautus”, Society for Classical Studies meeting, Toronto, Canada, 2017.
  • “‘To Have’ and ‘To Hold’ in Mycenaean”, Society for Classical Studies meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2016.
  • IG II2.1136—A Decree for an Athenian Priestess”, British School at Athens seminar, Athens, 2015.
  • “Not-so-impersonal Passives in Plautus”, Society for Classical Studies meeting, New Orleans, LA, 2015.
  • “Metrical Meaning and Monumental Memory in Latin”, British School at Rome seminar, Rome, 2014.
  • “Wind, Wave, and Generative Metaphor in Greek”, CAMWS meeting, Grand Rapids, MI, 2011.