Stephanie Ann Frampton


Stephanie Ann Frampton is Associate Professor of Literature and Co-Chair of the Program in Ancient and Medieval Studies at MIT. She received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Comparative Literature in 2011 and a Bachelor’s in Classics and Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 2003. Her first book, Empire of Letters: Writing in Roman Literature and Thought from Lucretius to Ovid, appeared with Oxford University Press earlier this year.

Trained as a Latinist and a comparatist, Prof. Frampton works principally on the history of the book in antiquity, studying the intersections of literary and material culture in the Graeco-Roman world and traditions of reading, writing, and scholarship in the longue durée. She has published on a range of topics in this area, from graffiti in the city of Herculaneum to on the development of the concept of studium into the Renaissance, and on Roman authors from Cicero to Ovid. Her research has been supported by awards from the American Academy in Rome, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation. In 2017­–2018, she was the inaugural president of the Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School, University of Virginia.

At the Warburg, Prof. Frampton will be turning to a new project, tentatively titled Cicero’s Library: The Roman Book and Making of the Classics: a study of the rise of book culture in late Republican and early Imperial Rome and of the lasting impact of Roman ways of reading, writing, and knowing about books on our own constructions of the classics. Looking for books in the hands of readers and on the shelves of their libraries, it aims to deepen our understanding of the complex and sometimes unexpected roles that physical books played in what it meant to be “Roman” at the turn of the first millennium and what it has meant to read the “classics” ever since.



Empire of Letters: Writing in Roman Literature and Thought from Lucretius to Ovid. Oxford University Press, 2019.

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters

“In the Library,” Guillespie and Lynch eds. The Unfinished Book, Oxford University Pres, forthcoming.

“Graffiti in the So-Called College of Augustales at Herculaneum (Insula VI 21, 24),” From Document to History: Epigraphic Insights into the Greco-Roman World: Proceedings of the Second North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy. Brill, 2019.

“Ovid’s Two Body Problem,” Loar, Murrary, and Rebeggiani eds. The Cultural History of Augustan Rome: Texts, Monuments and Topography. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

“What to do with Books in the De Finibus,” TAPA 146.1, Spring 2016.

“Kings of the Stone Age, or How to Read an Ancient Inscription,” Butler ed. Deep Classics, Bloomsbury 2016.

Book Reviews

Review of George Houston, Inside Roman Libraries (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina 2014), Classical World 109.4, Summer 2016.

Review of Shane Butler, Matter of the Page (Madison: University of Wisconsin 2011), BMCR, 24 November 2013.

Other Publications

“Alexandria in the Googleplex,” in Eidolon (, December 2017.

“Our Lossy Alphabet,” in Public Books (, October 2017.

“‘An Earnest Bending of the Mind’: From studium to studio,” in Benson-Miller ed. Studio Systems (exhibition catalogue), American Academy in Rome 2016.