skip to content

Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



As an undergraduate, I read the Classical Tripos at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, specialising in my final year in Classical Linguistics. I wrote a thesis entitled 'The Dual in Attic: synchronic usage and diachronic change', in which I explored the social aspect to the use of grammatical number in the Greek dialect of ancient Athens.

Remaining at Fitzwilliam, I took my MPhil degree, writing on the language used in the oratory of Lysias and exploring its level of formality.

My current research broadens my interest in Classical Greek oratory in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., exploring the relationship between the language of speeches and the language as it was spoken and used in less formal registers. It is my hope to uncover just how 'democratic' the language of Athens was in this period, how it responded to changes in the spoken language and how 'formal' people might have considered it. By deploying modern sociolinguistic theory, we can better understand the significance of the 'classics' which have come down to us and build a more accurate picture of the functioning of the Athenian democracy.

Other academic interests:

  • Linguistics (particularly with regards to Latin, Greek and Indo-European languages)
  • Ancient Greek sociolinguistics and dialectology
  • Greek oratory
  • Register Studies
  • Politics and language
  • Classics and outreach
  • Epigraphy
  • Greek history
Department: Classics
Supervisor: Dr Rupert Thompson
College: Fitzwilliam
AHRC Subject Area: Classics
Title of Thesis: (Provisional) 'A Linguistic History of Classical Greek Oratory'
 Robert  Machado