David Porreca

Associate Professor and Chair, Classical Studies

David Porreca
David Porreca is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Classical Studies and the Co-Director of Medieval Studies Undergraduate Program, at University of Waterloo. David's research interests broadly involve Medieval intellectual history, especially the reception of the pagan Classical tradition in the Christian Middle Ages.

The main focus of David's research has been the enigmatic figure of Hermes Trismegistus. In the process of hunting for any and all references to Hermes during the Middle Ages, David has explored over thirty European manuscript libraries and has also become interested in ancient and Medieval magic, astrology, alchemy, palaeography, manuscript transmission and glosses. David worked with Dan Attrell to produce a new English translation of the Latin astral magic text known as Picatrix, which appeared in 2019 through the Pennsylvania State University Press, and more recently has worked with Dan and Brett Bartlett to complete an annotated English translation of Marsilio Ficino's polemical work De Christiana religione (submitted for publication).

In parallel to his interest in intellectual history, he has begun examining the dynamics of the rise, flourishing and downfall of complex societies, especially with regard to the impact of resource depletion on these processes. David's teaching interests include Latin (Classical & Medieval), magic & esoterica, ancient religious traditions in general and the Hermetic tradition in particular, Medieval Studies broadly construed (Medieval society, defining the Middle Ages) and the decline and fall of ancient Roman civilization.

Keywords: Classical Studies, Medieval Studies, History of Ideas; textual analysis, close reading of primary texts, compilation of data from primary texts