Classics & Ancient History


Our expertise stretches from the archaic Greek world through to late antiquity, with particular strengths in the literary culture of the Roman Empire, the ancient economy, the Achaemenid Persian Empire, Greek religion and ancient philosophy, as well as the influence of the ancient world in the modern day. As a group, we ask fundamental questions, challenge stale orthodoxies and established narratives, and strive to be innovative, bold and open in our approach.

An Athenian tetradrachm c. 169-170BC showing the head of Athena Parthenos
Above: an Athenian tetradrachm c. 169-170BC showing the head of Athena Parthenos


The impact of our research takes a number of forms:

  • Education - informing the content of UK schools curricula through engagement with awarding bodies; contributing to the personal and professional development of teachers; extending and deepening participation in our subjects.
  • Influencing Policy - informing policy debate and business ethics through a long-term perspective, for example through work in relation to the environmental impact of mining.
  • Public Discourse and Civil Society– influencing public discourse on, and enhancing public understanding of the ancient world and the many associated contemporary challenges; widening and deepening public access and understanding of the ancient world and its interfaces with the present, enriching and expanding the imaginations of a wide general audience.   
  • Cultural Life & Economic Prosperity - shaping creative practice, through critical engagement with the work of documentary-makers and film directors and contributing to their professional development; influencing new forms of creative expression. 


We also contribute to a number of international networks such as the CNRS-funded network on the ancient market and retail trade, and the British Academy and AHRC-funded networks on ‘Ancient religions and cognition’ and ‘Latin panegyric’.