Internationally recognised as one of the finest Classics research institutions in the world, we take a groundbreaking approach to the Classical world. We examine the cultures, histories, societies, languages, religions and material remains of the ancient Mediterranean, for a greater understanding of the past and the present.
Our research sits within the Classics Research Division, which has a proud history stretching back more than 100 years. With strong international connections, we collaborate with researchers, students and visiting staff from across the world, and the Department hosts international conferences and runs regular research seminars. If you want to be in a place where ideas are exchanged and international perspectives are readily available, this is the place to be.
"Within my specific area of research exciting new things keep happening, for example: the discovery of a major Classical settlement in western Thessaly; fresh approaches to the study of ancient federal states; and regional history being pursued in a much more dynamic and imaginative way."
- Dr Emma Aston, Head of the Classics Department
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) Classics at the University of Reading ranks:
- 3rd in the UK for research output
- 6th in the UK overall
- 100% of our research impact was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent.
The research community in Reading covers a number of fields within the world of Classics. As a research student, you will have the opportunity to work with experts from different fields, including:
- Language, Text and Power
- Ancient Religions
- The Ancient Material World
- The Classical Tradition and Reception Studies
- Ancient Literature
- Roman Economy
- Virtual Rome
- Network on Ancient and Modern Imperialisms
- The Legacy of Greek Political Thought
At Reading, you will be joining a research community which is internationally recognised and has received numerous prestigious awards. These include:
- Professor Ian Rutherford - Research Fellow at Käte Hamburger Kolleg Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe, Bochum, Germany (2018-19); Visiting Senior Fellow at the Anadolu Medeniyetleri (Arastimalarasi Merkezi) Research Centre (2016-17); Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (2013-14).
- Professor Annalisa Marzano - Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship: ''Grafting glory': new plants, the economy and elite identity in Rome' (awarded in 2016 for period Sept.1, 2017-Aug. 31, 2019).
- Dr Matthew Nicholls - British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (BARSEA) 2015.
- Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou - Gerda Henkel Foundation Research Scholarship (2015-2016): 'Credit, debt, and the transformation of rural society in Egypt and Palestine from Constantine to the Abbasids'.
- Professor Peter Kruschwitz - British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2014-5): 'Poetry of the People'.
- Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou - ERC Award (2013 ff.): 'The Cult of Saints: a Christendom-wide study of its origin, spread and development'.
- Professor Eleanor Dickey - Leverhulme Fellowship (2012-4): 'Latin loanwords in ancient Greek'.
The research here at Reading has a significant cultural impact, helping society to better understand both the Classics and the world of today. Your research will contribute to a division which is actively bringing Classics to life for the public and the academic world alike.
Dr Matthew Nicholls' virtual Rome model is a prime example of our research impact. This expansive, multi-award winning digital model, developed by Dr Nicholls, depicts Rome as it stood in 315 AD. This model sheds new light on history's shadows - for example, it can be used to investigate questions of sight lines, illumination and routes through the metropolis.
"I'm really delighted to have got this model to a stage where it's so useful to so many people. The work we do here makes a huge contribution to people's knowledge and understanding of the past, and I'm so glad the world can now join us on this journey of discovery."
- Dr Matthew Nicholls, Associate Professor in Classics
Versatile research strategy
We respect and endorse research methods which suit the individual, enabling our staff to carry out both individual research and research in structured clusters and groups. The Department of Classics is at the heart of humanities research at Reading, informing and underpinning many aspects of the humanities: history, literature and art have all been influenced by the inspiration of the ancient world. As a result our research groups cross into other disciplines, and we have strong links to the following organisations:
Contact the department
Get in touch with the Department of Classics if you're interested in joining our research community.