Cosimo Paravano












I am a doctoral fellow (Praedoc Universitätsassistent) in Byzantine studies at Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of the University of Vienna (supervisors: Prof. Claudia Rapp, Vienna, and Prof. Gianfranco Agosti, Rome).


I am native of Florence, Italy, and studied Classics and Ancient History at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, and the University of Pisa (BA, MA, 2014-2019). I spent fully-funded exchange semesters at Freie Universität Berlin (winter term 2017/8) and Princeton University (spring term 2019). At or through Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Harvard University), I attended the Byzantine Greek summer school (July 2018) and the Syriac summer school (co-organized by the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, July-August 2021, online) and was Bliss Awardee (April 2019).

Here in Vienna, I co-organise the Forum Antike lecture series and Symposion - PhD Workshop and Reading Group, which I also co-founded, within the Doctoral School cluster ‘Ancient, Byzantine and Medieval studies’.

Anyone wishing to know more about my research or just exchange ideas is very welcome to contact me!


Current research projects


After developing an interest in Late Antiquity as a Classics student, I am now broadly interested in Byzantine cultural and literary history. My dissertation is entitled “Rhetoric and Citizenship in Early Byzantine Antioch (4th–6th c.)” and will synoptically investigate how sophists and preachers conceptualised their rhetorical activity and how different types of speechmaking conditioned civic life in the city of Antioch. The dissertation will specifically focus on sophist Libanius (314-393 CE), preacher and then bishop John Chrysostom (c.350-407 CE) and patriarch Severus of Antioch (d. 538 CE).


I am also interested in early Byzantine hagiography, especially Eustratios’ Life of Golinduch, a fascinating text telling the story of a Persian noblewoman who converts to Christianity and, after fleeing to the Byzantine empire, becomes involved in religious and political strifes.


Research interests

Late Antique and Byzantine cultural and literary history - Late Antique Rhetoric (especially Libanios and John Chrysostom) - Syriac culture - so-called Byzantine classical reception


Publication list

1. ‛Retorica e dinamiche del potere ad Antiochia nel IV secolo. Introduzione, traduzione e

commento all’orazione A Icario (26 F.) di Libanio’, Medioevo Greco 20 (2020), 165-208.

2. Review of Raffaella Cribiore, Between City and School. Selected Orations of Libanius,

Liverpool, Liverpool University Press: 2015, Medioevo Greco 18 (2018), 390-396.

3. Book report of Andrea Pellizzari, Maestro di retorica, maestro di vita: le lettere teodosiane

di Libanio di Antiochia, Roma, L’Erma di Bretschneider: 2017, Medioevo Greco 18 (2018),