Neil Coffee


Neil Coffee.

Neil Coffee


Neil Coffee


Research Interests

Latin literature, Roman social history, Roman philosophy, epic, digital classics, conversational Latin

Contact Information

338 Academic Center, North Campus

Buffalo NY, 14261-0026

Phone: (716) 645-0452


  • PhD, Department of Classics, University of Chicago, 2003
  • MA, Department of Classics, University of Chicago, 1999

Selected Publications

Cover of "Gift and Gain".
Cover of "The Commerce of War".
  • “Intertextuality as Viral Phrases: Roses and Lilies.” In Digital Classical Philology: Ancient Greek and Latin in the Digital Revolution. Monica Berti, Ed. De Gruyter, pp. 177-200.
  • The World is Too Much with Us. So Can We Leave?: The Philosophical Case Against Retreating From the World.” Eidolon. Sept. 13, 2018.
  • Gift and Gain: How Money Transformed Ancient Rome. December 2016. Oxford University Press. [publisher site] [sample chapter]
  • The Commerce of War: Exchange and Social Order in Latin Epic. 2009. University of Chicago Press. (Reviews and notices: “Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.11.11; Choice Reviews Online, October 2009; Revue des Etudes Latines 87 (2009): 388-91; Journal of Roman Studies 100 (2010): 300-2; Greece & Rome 57 (2010): 132; Vestnik drevnej istorii (2011): 206-211; Classical Review 63.2 (2013): 440-2.”
  • “Gift and Society in the Works of Statius” in Brill’s Companion to Statius, Eds. William Dominik, Carole Newlands, and Kyle Gervais. (2015): 106-22.
  • “Modeling the Scholars: Detecting Intertextuality through Enhanced Word-Level N-Gram Matching.” C. Forstall, N. Coffee, T. Buck, K. Roache, and S. Jacobson. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (2014). doi: 10.1093/llc/fqu014.
  • “Ovid Negotiates with His Mistress: Roman Reciprocity from Public to Private” in The Gift in Antiquity, ed. M. Satlow (2013): 77-95.
  • “Intertextuality in the Digital Age.” Lead author with J.-P. Koenig, S. Poornima, R. Ossewaarde, C. Forstall, and S. Jacobson. Transactions of the American  Philological Association 142.2 (2012): 318-419.
  • “Social Relations in Lucan’s Bellum Ciuile” in Brill’s Companion to Lucan, Ed. P. Asso (2011): 417-32.
  • “Caesar Chrematopoios” Classical Journal 106.4 (2011): 397-421.
  • “Statius’ Theseus: Martial or Merciful?” Classical Philology 104.2 (2009): 221-8.
  • “Eteocles, Polynices, and the Economics of Violence in Statius’ Thebaid” American Journal of Philology 127.3 (2006): 415-52.
  • “The φορτηγοί of Theognis 667-82” Classical Quarterly 56.1 (2006): 29-30.


Honors and Awards

  • $279,609 NEH Office of Digital Humanities Digital Humanities Advancement Grant for 2018-2020 for “Tesserae Intertext Service: Intertextual Search Access to Digital Collections in the Humanities.” Co-Director with Director Walter Scheirer of Notre Dame Computer Science.
  • Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’homme 50,000 Euro award under the Transatlantic Program for Collaborative Work in the field of Digital Humanities, funding the joint project with the University of Venice “TESSERAE MUSIVAE: A Common Infrastructure for Digital Approaches to Classical Intertextuality” for 2016-2017.
  • NEH Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant for $49,835 for 2012-2013 development of the Tesserae Project.
  • Elected Fellow (Sodalis Ordinarius) of Academy for Advancement of Latin (Academia Latinitati Fovendae), a scholarly organization based in Brussels and Rome, November 2011, in recognition of work advancing the use of Latin for intellectual and pedagogical discourse.

Undergraduate Courses

Classical Epic Traditions; Classical Origins of Western Literature; Intermediate Latin; Introductory Greek; Latin Epistolography; The Philosophical Poetry of Lucretius; Roman Civilization; Vergil’s Eclogues, Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Graduate Courses

Contemporary Approaches to Intertextuality in Latin Literature; Exchange Ideologies; Hellenistic Poetry; History of Latin Literature; Latin Syntax and Stylistics; Poetics in Classical Literature; Vergil and His Critics