The research project aims to investigate the relationship between authorship and authority in ancient historiography through new concepts brought to contemporary scholarly writing, in particular on online collaborative environments.


The topoi of the study of historiography – impartiality, experience, mastery of style and research, presentation of witness reports, and critical use of sources – acquire new meanings when reconsidered by investigating the relationship between literary authority and self-presentation through a persona. The writing of history in collaborative digital environments such as Wikipedia, shows that these two categories have assumed new roles. In a world populated with fake news and information curated by proprietary algorithms, information literacy becomes crucial to the production and reception of history. Examining root concepts such as authorship and authority in ancient historiography can crucially support the development of effective tools of critical thinking.

This project also has the ambition to offer an innovative approach to the much-needed and sometimes difficult dialogue between the ancient world and our own. How much, if any, are the ancients still our reference points, after the implosion of certainties in the modern and (even more acutely) post-modern world from the end of the twentieth century?


Classical studies have been the epitome of the ivory tower, elite, white, male-dominated Eurocentric History, ever since their establishment as an academic discipline at the beginning of the nineteenth century, if not before. We need to read the ancients now through the prism of a different, more diverse, and more encompassing world, in which these reference points are no longer adequate.


A valuable strategy to enable such a conceptual shift is to fully engage with the new authorship roles created by a horizontal Commons-Based Peer Production, recreating and reframing the role of the specialist as the still fundamental guide and facilitator of the participation of all interested parties, especially in the case of the production and interpretation of historical discourse.

Prof. Dr. Juliana Bastos Marques

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State (UNIRIO)



Prof. Marques is Associate Professor of Ancient History at UNIRIO and studies Latin Historiography. She is particularly interested in topics in Theory and Philosophy of History, Classical Reception, Public History and outreach. 

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Prof. Dr. Federico Santangelo

Newcastle University




Prof. Santangelo works and publishes on the political and intellectual history of the late Republic, on Roman religion, on problems of local and municipal administration in the Roman world, and on aspects of the history of classical scholarship. 

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CC-BY-SA 3.0 - 2019

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