The Department of Classics combines traditional and modern approaches to exploring all aspects, interactions, and legacies of the civilisations and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean.
Overall quality profile
Our research is organised into three broad clusters:
- Communities and Networks looks at the internal make-up of ancient communities and the networks within which they operated. Research has focused on the Roman economy, Greek religion and society and circulation of Greek pottery. We also map connections of ethnicity, state, and identity that have not yet been explored, to reveal the Classical world in new and expanded configurations while drawing in diverse participants.
- Disciplinary Interfaces challenges conceptual boundaries imposed by previous generations of scholarship. Key areas of focus include interactions and continuities between different geographical zones and cultures, interactions between languages, and chronological continuities.
- Legacies focuses on how ancient culture was received both within antiquity and in the modern period, as well as studying its contemporary relevance. Key areas are collections research, use of Classics in contemporary Africa, and ancient and modern imperialism.
The collection and archives of the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, which work under the umbrella of the University’s Museums and Special Collections and are based in the department, are a focal point of our research. Our research staff also maintain active interactions with other Research Centres including the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism and the Centre for Health Humanities. Professor Rachel Mairs runs the Hellenistic Central Asia Research Network.
Staff and doctoral students
We submitted 13 staff (12.5 FTE) to REF2021, including 9 Professors, 2 Associate Professors, 1 Lecturer, and 1 Early Career Research Fellow. Over the assessment period there were 18 doctoral completions and we have an annual average of 14 PhD students at any one time. In 2019/20 doctoral students came from 9 countries including the UK.
We are a member of the AHRC South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Programme.
Research centres and partnerships
- The British Museum: an institutional partnership was established in 2018 to develop research collaborations in advance of the opening in 2023 of the British Museum’s Archaeological Research Collection, based at the University’s Thames Valley Science Park.
Selected examples of national and international recognition between 2014 and 2020:
- Fellow of the British Academy and recipient of the Goodwin Award for Classical Studies (Professor Eleanor Dickey)
- Member of the Academia Europaea (Professor Eleanor Dickey; Professor Annalisa Marzano)
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (Professor Ken Dark; Professor Timothy Duff; Professor Katherine Harloe; Professor Annalisa Marzano)
- Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (Professor Ken Dark; Professor Annalisa Marzano)
Impact case studies
Examples of the impact our research has had at local, national and global levels.