BA (Yale, 2003), MSt (Oxford, 2004), DPhil (Oxford, 2008)

Academic background

I began studying Music Theory as an undergraduate at Yale University, but changed to Classics halfway through because of my deepening fascination with the ancient world. I then came to Oxford to pursue postgraduate study at Magdalen College (2003–8). I held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Wolfson College from 2008 to 2010 and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at St Anne’s College from 2010 to 2012. Before joining Christ Church in 2022, I was a Tutorial Fellow in Classics at Lady Margaret Hall for ten happy years. In 2020 I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of my research.

Undergraduate teaching

I teach Greek language and several areas of Greek literature for both 'Mods' and 'Greats' (e.g. the Iliad, Early Greek Hexameter Poetry and Greek Tragedy). 

Research interests

My research is in papyrology or the study of ancient Greek papyri, the oldest manuscripts to survive from Graeco-Roman antiquity. Most of them originate from Egypt when it was under Ptolemaic and then Roman rule (c. 300 BCE–640 CE) and when Greek was the dominant written language in the region. These papyri preserve various works of literature, both known and new, as well as a large quantity of private and official documents. My work ranges from their decipherment and reconstruction to their wider contextualization and interpretation, and from textual criticism to broader studies using papyri as evidence. 

I am particularly interested in papyri of Hellenistic and Imperial Greek poetry, papyri bearing on ancient education and scholarship, and documents relating to the society, institutions, and culture of Roman and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus, one of the best-documented provincial cities of the Roman Empire. I have been a General Editor of The Oxyrhynchus Papyri since 2016.

Featured publications

Dionysius: The Epic Fragments (Cambridge Classical Texts & Commentaries 56, 2018)

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. LXXXIV (2019)

Rural Settlements of the Oxyrhynchite Nome: A Papyrological Survey, Trismegistos Online Publication 4, Version 3.0 (Leuven, 2021)

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. LXXXVI (2021, co-edited with N. Gonis)

Full list of publications: https://oxford.academia.edu/AminBenaissa/CurriculumVitae

Other interests and activities

Outside academia, I enjoy music (16th–21st century), rambling in the countryside and reading widely (especially early modern travel literature and non-fiction, poetry, and novels).