John Izzo

Graduate Student


  • Roman Literature of the Republic
  • The Relationship between Philosophy and Poetry (Greek, Latin, English)
  • Manuscript Studies/Papyrology
  • Neo-Latin
  • Indo-European Poetics

John was born and raised in Michigan, but later traveled to Maine to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Classics at Bowdoin College (2015, magna cum laude). There, he wrote an honors thesis investigating Tacitus’ personal and political philosophy and its curious relationship to Stoic doctrines. After Bowdoin, John returned to the Midwest to pursue an MA in Classics at the University of Notre Dame, where he began to turn his attention toward ancient poetry, philosophy, and the interplay between the two. His research culminated in a thesis focusing on the fifth book of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura (particularly the Kulturgeschichte); by using book five as a case study, the thesis argued that Lucretius employs archaic poetic devices from the Italic carmen style (ultimately inherited from Indo-European poetics) in order to construct a logical substructure that is vital to the narrative and philosophical claims of the DRN. John is eager to continue to explore these and other topics at Columbia. He also looks forward to returning to teaching Latin and Greek (something which he very much enjoyed doing at Notre Dame).

Beyond academia, John’s interests include running, lifting, hiking, and nearly anything that takes him outdoors. Alongside these more active pursuits, he finds nothing better than curling up with a book, or spending the day relaxing by the beach.