Staff Profile:Dr Matthew Nicholls
- Dr Matthew Nicholls
- Job Title:
- Associate Professor
- Areas of Interest:
- Lecturer , Part 1 Coördinator
- Research groups / Centres:
Matthew currently teaches CL2RE Roman Empire and CL3RC Roman Cities. These courses reflect his interest in the political and social history of the Romans and the way that the built environments of Rome and cities around the empire expressed their values and priorities. He also directs Reading's unique City of Rome MA programme and provides much of the teaching for it, alongside Dr Annalisa Marzano and other colleagues.
As well as his teaching duties, Matthew is Classics' Part 1 Coördinator, responsible for the design and delivery of the department's large courses at Part 1 including CL1CA Fifth-Century Athens and CL1CB Augustan Rome. He is also responsible for the department's IT provision, especially of the lovely Apple computers he likes to use - he currently holds grants from the Annual Fund and Teaching and Learning Development Fund for working on digital modelling of the city of Rome (see further below).
Matthew believes that it is important for students to encounter the ancient world first-hand, and has therefore helped to orgainse and lead the first, very successful, departmental study trips to Rome in 2009 and 2010.
To find out more about my Virtual Rome research project, please visit
YNumber of items: 14.
- Nicholls, M. (2016) Digital visualisation in Classics teaching and beyond. Journal of Classics Teaching, 17 (33). pp. 27-30. ISSN 2058-6310 doi: 10.1017/S2058631016000076
- Nicholls, M. (2015) Libraries and networks of influence in the Roman world. Segno e Testo, 13. pp. 125-146. ISSN 2037-0245
- Nicholls, M. (2014) 30-second Ancient Rome. 30-second guides. Ivy Press, London, pp160. ISBN 9781782401315
- Nicholls, M. C. (2014) A library at Antium? In: Rothschild, C. K. and Thompson, T. W. (eds.) Galen's De Indolentia: essays on a newly discovered letter. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum (88). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, pp. 65-78. ISBN 9783161532153
- Nicholls, M. (2014) Le biblioteche come centri di cultura nel mondo Romano. In: Meneghini, R. and Rossella, R. (eds.) La biblioteca Infinita: i luoghi di sapere nel mondo antico. Electa, Milan, pp. 82-97. ISBN 9788837098551
- Nicholls, M. (2013) Public libraries in the cities of the Roman Empire. In: Woolf, G., König, J. and Oikonomopolou, K. (eds.) Ancient Libraries. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107012561
- Nicholls, M. (2013) Libraries and literature in Rome. In: Claridge, A. and Holleran, C. (eds.) Companion to the City of Rome. Companions to the Ancient World. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781405198196
- Kruschwitz, P., Campbell, V. and Nicholls, M. (2012) Menedemerumenus: tracing the routes of Pompeian graffiti writers. Tyche, 27. pp. 93-111. ISSN 1010-9161
- Nicholls, M. (2011) Bibliotheca Latina Graecaque: on the possible division of Roman libraries by language. Latomus: SIEN Neronia VIII, 327 . pp. 11-21. ISSN 0023-8856
- Nicholls, M. C. (2011) Galen and libraries in the Peri Alupias. Journal of Roman Studies, 101. pp. 123-142. ISSN 1753-528X doi: 10.1017/S0075435811000049
- Nicholls, M. (2010) Parchment codices in a new text of Galen. Greece and Rome, 57 (2). pp. 378-386. ISSN 0017-3835 doi: 10.1017/S0017383510000082
- Nicholls, M. (2010) Euergetism. In: Bevir, M. (ed.) Encyclopaedia of political theory. SAGE Publications Inc. , USA. ISBN 9781412958653
- Nicholls, M. (2009) Les bibliothèques du Palatin. Dossiers D'Archéologie, 336. p. 93. ISSN 1141-7137
Matthew is working on a book on public libraries in the Roman world for Oxford University Press. He is interested in exploring both how these libraries functioned as buildings and as book collections, and also their wider role in disseminating imperial and local ideas of literary culture and political or social identity.
He is also interested in the second century AD doctor and medical writer Galen; a newly-discovered treatise that he wrote on the inadvisability of grief contains wonderful details of the location, contents, and use of library buildings in imperial Rome. Matthew has enjoyed working on this exciting text and hopes to organize a conference where medical and library historians can collaborate further. He has been invited to speak on the subject around the UK and overseas.
More broadly, his research interests include Roman architecture, cities, settlement, and monuments, and the way that emperors and other patrons made use of them.
Matthew has developed an interest in computer modelling as a way of exploring ancient structures and bringing them to life. He began by working on some of 'his' library buildings, such as that at Ephesus (pictured below), and has moved on to an ambitious recreation of the city of Rome in the age of Constantine. This model is constantly evolving, and Matthew uses images taken from it to illustrate various lectures throughout the year. He has been successful in receiving funding to develop the model for possible commercial applications, and has been pleased to see media interest in the project, such as an article in the BBC History Magazine (Feb. 2011).
Outside the lecture hall, Matthew enjoys talking about the ancient world to a variety of audiences including schools, museums and history societies around the country, yacht tours of the Turkish coast, and, last Easter, Radio 4's In Our Time with Melvyn, Lord Bragg (Library of Alexandria). In February 2011 he was delighted to be selected among the AHRC's and BBC Radio 3's 'New Generation Thinkers'.
He also co-teaches the British School at Rome's annual undergraduate summer school, to which Reading undergraduates are encouraged to apply (British School at Rome).