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Emma Aston

  • Professor of Classics

Areas of interest

I have previously worked chiefly within the area of ancient religion. My book on Greek animal hybrid deities came out in 2011.I continue to be interested in hybridism and monstrosity in ancient culture; I am currently engaged in a cross-disciplinary project on the subject under the aegis of the Health Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Centre.  

My latest monograph project, however, is on regional identity in ancient Thessaly from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period.  This book is due to be published by Liverpool University Press in January 2024.  It explores the articulation of Thessalian identity from the perspective of myth, cult, language, geography and stereotype-formation.

I spent a term as a fellow of the British School at Athens working on research for this book, and have also travelled extensively in the area. With its rich and much-exploited plains, Thessaly also allows me to work further on another long-standing area of interest: the Greeks' relationship with the natural world, both actual (through agriculture and animal husbandry) and imaginary (through myth).

Postgraduate supervision

I am especially interested in supervising doctoral projects on northern Greece, Greek religion, and ancient attitudes towards the natural world.

Current postgraduate research projects:

I am currently supervising a PhD project on fishing in ancient Greece.

I am currently primary supervisor to three doctoral researchers working on aspects of Thessalian coinage, Archaic epic and Plutarch’s Boiotian identity.

To date, I have supervised several doctoral projects to completion on a range of aspects of ancient religion, political history, art and material culture.



I teach on a wide range of topics, including: Greek Religion; ancient Macedon between Alexander I and Alexander III ('The Great'); Archaic Greek history. I also teach Latin and Greek.

Postgraduate taught:

I offer a number of MA Special Options, depending on student choice: Embodying Gods, The Greeks and the Natural World; Ancient Thessaly.

Research projects

I am currently completing a book on the culture and identity of Thessaly from the seventh to the second century BC.


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