Material Culture

The Department of Classics at Reading is renowned for its research and teaching strengths in the ancient material world, some of which involve the collections in the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, curated by Dr Amy Smith.

  campus martius

 © Matthew Nicholls, 2009

We actively research objects in other museums, archives, and libraries; conduct archaeological fieldwork; and participate in international consortia with colleagues from other institutions. Some of our research projects have emerged from recent symposia and conferences while others are emerging projects. This research group naturally overlaps with other research groups in Classics at Reading, such as Language, Text, and Power.




Aphrodite Revealed. Amy Smith and Sadie Pickup (Oxford) have edited selected papers from the Aphrodite Revealed conference (May 2008), which has republished been published as Brill's Companion to Aphrodite. It is a multidisciplinary treatment of the presentation and reception of the Greek goddess of love, from her Near Eastern 'roots' to the 19th-century art market.

A Comparison of Archaic-Classical Attic and Boeotian Pottery Decorative Techniques. Amy Smith is assembling a team and seeking funding for an examination and comparison of decorative clays used
in Archaic and Classical vase painting.

Ancient graffiti. Through an examination of specific examples and groups of graffiti and related texts, Peter Kruschwitz and others are comparing the uses and responses to ancient graffiti through the ages.

The gods of Small Things. Marianne Bergeron and Amy Smith are collecting and editing a volume of papers from their recent gods of Small Things conference (co-organised with Katerina Volioti), which assembled an international and multidisciplinary team to investigate the cumulative value of non-prestige ex votos.

Ure Museum catalogues raisonées. Amy Smith, Marianne Bergeron, and international colleagues are preparing catalogues raisonnées on the unpublished Greek and Cypriote material in the Ure Museum.

Viewing the Divine. Susanne Turner is exploring viewing in the context of the Greek temple. Her work is funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. She is planning a conference on this
subject, together with Alastair Harden.

Relevant Staff

  • Kruschwitz
  • Marzano
  • Nicholls
  • Smith

Relevant Publications

Kruschwitz, P., Carmina Saturnia Epigraphica. Einleitung, Text und Kommentar zu den Saturnischen Versinschriften (Hermes-Einzelschriften 84). Stuttgart: Steiner, 2002

Kruschwitz, P., Die metrischen Inschriften der römischen Republik. Berlin - New York: W. de Gruyter, 2007.

Kruschwitz, P., 'Carmina Latina Epigraphica Pompeiana: Ein Dossier', Arctos. Acta philologica Fennica 38 (2004) 27-58.

Kruschwitz, P., 'Die Edition und Interpretation metrischer Kursivinschriften: Eine Methodenkritik am Beispiel von CLE 354'. In: C. Fernández Martínez and J. Gómez Pallarès (edd.), Temptanda viast. Nuevos estudios sobre la poesía epigráfica latina, Barcelona 2006 [CD-ROM publication; ISBN: 84-490-2444-7].

Kruschwitz, P., 'Die Bedeutung der Caupona des Euxinus für die epigraphische Poesie Pompejis (und darüber hinaus)', Rivista di Studi Pompeiani 17, (2006 (2007)), 7-13.

Kruschwitz, P., 'The Pompeian Wall Inscriptions and the Latin Language: A Critical Reappraisal', Arctos. Acta philologica Fennica 41 (2007) 31-49 (with Hilla Halla-aho).

Kruschwitz, P., 'Romanes eunt domus. Linguistic Aspects of the Sub-Literary Latin in Pompeiian Wall Inscriptions', in: T. V. Evans - D. D. Obbink (edd.), The Language of the Papyri, Oxford, 2009 [forthcoming]

Kruschwitz, P., 'Patterns of Text Layout in Pompeian Verse Inscriptions', Studia Philologica Valentina. [forthcoming]

Marzano, A., Roman Villas in Central Italy. A Social and Economic History. Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition vol. 30, Leiden, 2007.

Marzano, A., and Brizzi, G., 'Costly Display or Economic Investment? A Quantitative Approach to the Study of Roman Marine Aquaculture', JRA (forthcoming, 2009).

Marzano, A., 'Le ville maritime tra amoenitas e fructus', Amoenitas. Rivista di Studi Miscellanei sulla Villa Romana 1 (forthcoming, 2009).

Marzano, A., 'Trajanic Building Projects on Base-Metal Denominations and Audience Targeting', PBSR (forthcoming, 2009).

Marzano, A., 'Fish salting versus fish breeding: the case of Roman Italy'. In L. Lagóstena, D. Bernal and A. Arévalo (eds), Cetariae 2005. Salsas y Salazones de Pescado en Occidente durante la Antigüedad. Actas del Congreso Internacional (Cadiz, 7-9 de noviembre de 2005), BAR Int. Series 1686. Oxford, 2007, 301-13.

Marzano, A., 'Mezzomiglio: the wall in so-called Terza Maniera opus poligonale', in D. Soren (ed.), An Ancient Roman Spa at Mezzomiglio: Chianciano Terme, Toscana, BAR Int. Series 1548, Oxford, 2006, 61-4.

Marzano, A., and Soren, D., Bizzarri, C., and Olivas, J., 'Excavations at Mezzomiglio locality, Chianciano Terme, Italy'. In D. Soren (ed.) An Ancient Roman Spa at Mezzomiglio: Chianciano Terme, Toscana, BAR Int. Series 1548, Oxford, 2006.

Marzano, A., 'Preserving cultural heritage and developing a modern city: the difficult case of Euesperides', Libyan Studies 37, 2006, 89-93.

Marzano, A., 'Country Villas in Roman Central Italy: Reassessing the Evidence'. In J.J. Aubert and Z. Varhelyi (eds.), A Tall Order. Writing the Social History of the Ancient World. Essays in Honor of William V. Harris,Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 216, München, 2005, 241-62.

Nicholls, M.C., Roman public libraries (OUP; in progress)

Nicholls, M.C., 'Libraries and the literary world' in A. Claridge and C. Holleran, eds., A Companion to the City of Rome (Blackwell, forthcoming, 2010).

Nicholls, M.C., 'Eurgetism' in the Sage Encyclopedia of Political Theory (forthcoming).

Nicholls, M.C., 'Bibliotheca Latina Graecaque': on the possible division of Roman public libraries by language, by invitation for publication in Actes - Colloque Neronia VIII (Sien) (forthcoming).

Nicholls, M.C., 'A virtual presentation of the Villa of Livia', for Journal of Roman Studies (in progress, 2010).

Nicholls, M.C., Two parchment codices in a new text of Galen', submitted to Greece and Rome.

Nicholls, M.C., 'Ancient and modern: digital reconstruction of the Classical past'. Omnibus 55, 2008. '

Nicholls, M.C., 'Pliny's Ethnography', Classical Review 55, 2005, 548-50.

Nicholls, M.C., 'Roman Public Libraries', Omnibus 47, January 2004.

Smith, A., Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum 23. Reading Museum Service, British Academy, August 2007.

Smith, A., Brill's Companion to Aphrodite, Brill, forthcoming, 2009.

Smith, A., Corpus of Cypriote Antiquities. Reading, Paul Åstroms Forlag, forthcoming, 2009.

Smith, A., Polis and Personification. Submitted to publisher, pending review.

Smith, A., 'Recent Acquisitions and Conservation at the Ure Museum,' Archaeological Reports 54, 2007-2008, 175-86.

Smith, A., 'VLMA: a tool for creating, annotating and sharing virtual museum collections,' in J.-G. Bodard and S. Mahony eds.,' in 'Though much is taken, much abides': Recovering antiquity through innovative digital methodologies, a special collaboration between Digital Classicist and the Digital Medievalist Journal presented in honour of Ross Scaife (1960-2008).

Smith, A. and Bradley, R., 'Questions of context: a Greek cup from the River Thames.' In C. Gosden, H. Hamerow, P. de Jersey and E. Durham eds., Communities and Connections, Oxford, 2007, 30-42.

Smith, A., 'The evolution of the Pan Painter's artistic style,' Hesperia 75, 2006, 435-51.

Smith, A., 'The Politics of Weddings at Athens: an iconographic assessment,' Leeds International Classics Studies 4.1, 2005, 1-32.

Smith, A., 'The 'strife of cups': Greek vases at the symposion,' Omnibus 48, September 2004, 23-25.

Smith, A., 'Olympia by the time of Alexander the Great,' in M. Kaila et al. eds., The Olympic Games in Antiquity. Bring Forth Rain and Bear Fruit, Athens 2004, 137-71.

Smith, A., 'Athenian Political Art from the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC,' in C.W. Blackwell ed., Demos: Classical Athenian Democracy 1-26.

Smith, A., 'Queens and Empresses as Goddesses: The Public Role of the Personal Tyche in the Graeco-Roman World,' in S.B. Matheson ed., An Obsession with Fortune: Tyche in Greek and Roman Art. Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, 1994, 86-105.

Smith, A., Entries on Roman jewellery in D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B. Matheson eds., I Claudia: Women in Ancient Rome, New Haven 1996, 164, 175-80.

Things to do now

Group Membership:


  • Dr Emma Aston
  • Dr Marianne Bergeron
  • Dr Virginia Campbell
  • Dr Alastair Harden
  • Dr Peter Kruschwitz
  • Dr Annalisa Marzano
  • Dr Matthew Nicholls
  • Dr Amy C. Smith
  • Dr Susanne Turner
  • Dr Katerina Volioti


Meet our staff

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Discuss our research

Professor Ian Rutherford

Director of Research


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  • Telephone:
    +44 (0) 118 378 8421


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