Daniela Mairhofer

2024-2025 Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities Council; Associate Professor of Classics




156 East Pyne



Daniela Mairhofer is Associate Professor of Classics in the Department of Classics at Princeton University. Trained as a classical philologist, her research and teaching focus on the Latin language and literature of all periods, with a particular interest in late and medieval Latin. She is also interested in textual transmission and criticism, paleography and codicology, palimpsest studies, textual materiality, glossography, intellectual history, and the reception of the classics and ancient philosophy in the Latin West. She has published widely on these topics and has presented her research in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. Her most recent book is on Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy.

Mairhofer’s project as Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities Council, entitled “Totum Nihil: Political and Social Critique in the Thirteenth Century”, revolves around a 13th-century Latin poem that has been largely ignored by scholarship. Totum Nihil (one possible translation is ‘Absolutely Nothing’) is a truly astonishing find, both in content and form, and nothing known to scholarship compares to it. Blending various genres and themes within an unusual framework, it offers a sharp critique of contemporary political and social life. The project entails two books. The first, intended for a specialist audience, is the first-time edition of the text, accompanied by an English translation and a detailed word-for-word commentary. The second book, the monograph, serves a dual purpose. It examines in detail important aspects of the text such as transmission, authorship, genre and reception, but also considers its wider implications by asking larger questions. Mairhofer’s aim is to show how this newcomer enriches our understanding of medieval literature, history, science, philosophy, culture, and life.

Read her full biography on the Department of Classics website.

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