Valerio Caldesi Valeri

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  • Associate Professor of Classics
  • Vice President of the Kentucky Philological Association
  • Classics
  • Folklore & Mythology
  • Modern & Classical Languages Literatures & Cultures
  • International Studies
1021 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:

Ph.D., Classics, University of Texas at Austin; M.A., Archaeology and Dynamics of Writing, Università degli Studi di Venezia (Italy); B.A., Classics, Università degli Studi di Padova (Italy).


Trained as an ancient historian with a special interest in Greek epigraphy, Valerio Caldesi Valeri has more recently broadened his interests to encompass literary studies and classical mythology.  He is currently working on the construction and reception of the myths surrounding the king of Crete Minos in archaic and classical Greek culture, roughly between 700 and 300 BCE.  In his project, Dr. Caldesi Valeri argues that the character of Minos was consistently utilized as a paradigm of contemporary relevance across time.  Thus, scrutinizing the evolution of this myth allows to recover the varying thoughts of the ancient Greeks about ideal forms of kingship, the blurred divide separating exclusive administration of justice from exercise of tyranny, the viability of a maritime empire, the divine origins of law, and the scope of historical inquiry.

Dr. Caldesi Valeri’s blending of historical with literary interests is mirrored by his course offerings that include topics such as Greeks and Barbarians, the Rise of Christianity, the Fall of the Roman Empire, Classical Literature in Translation, and introductory courses on the ancient Greeks.  He has also taught a broad assortment of courses in Latin and Greek, from the elementary to the advanced levels.  A staple of such language courses is the implementation of a series of creative writing assignments, such as haiku poems or fictional epistles, all devised to promote the personal engagement of the students with the language as they are prompted to produce their own compositions.

Selected Publications: 

“Of Poetry and Death in Homer’s Iliad.Kentucky Philological Review. Volume 35 (2020), 6-11.

“Integrating Research-Based Contents into a Classical Mythology Course.” Conference Proceedings. The Future of Education. 6th Conference Edition. Florence, Italy. 30 June - 1 July 2016. Libreria Universitaria Edizioni: Padova, Italy (2016), 496-499.  

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