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Department of Classics and Ancient History


Three new postdoctoral fellows to join the Department of Classics and Ancient History

The Department of Classics and Ancient History is very excited to announce that we shall soon be joined by three new postdoctoral fellows.Two of them will be COFUND Junior Research Fellows, and the third will be here on an Addison Wheeler Fellowship. Two of the fellows will join us in the coming academic year but Federico Petrucci, who is one of the COFUND fellows will be arriving in April 2017.

Federico Petrucci, whose research focuses on exegetical methods in Imperial Platonism in relation to their literary and philosophical background and context, is coming to us from Pisa, having previously been a Humboldt Post-doctoral Fellow at the Institut für klassische Philologie, in Würzburg, Germany.

Rachel Bryant Davies, our Addison Wheeler fellow, took all of her degrees at Newnham College, Cambridge, and will be working on an interdisciplinary project entitled ‘Classics at Play: Greco-Roman Antiquity in British Children's Culture, c. 1750-1914' which aims to interrogate the cultural work of Classics in everyday pedagogical and leisure contexts in the 19th Century. Rachel will be based in the Department of Classics and Ancient History but will also be affiliated with the Durham Centre for Classical Reception (DCCR) and the Durham Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies (CNCS).

More information will follow shortly on our other COFUND fellow so watch this space!

(1 Mar 2017)

Three new appointments in the Department of Classics and Ancient History

The Department of Classics and Ancient History is very happy to report that we have appointed three new non-fixed term members of staff who will be joining the department in the coming academic year (2017-18).

Our new colleagues are:

Andrea Capra (Reader in Greek Literature)

Andrea, who trained in Milan and Pisa, will be joining us from the Università degli Studi di Milano.He is a Greek literature specialist who has published extensively on many aspects of Greek literature, and, in particular, has produced some wonderful pieces on Plato and Aristophanes.

Erica Bexley (Lecturer in Latin Literature)

At present, Erica is in post at Swansea. She works primarily on Neronian literature and ancient Roman drama, and is currently completing a monograph on issues of performance and identity in Senecan drama. She completed her first two degrees in Australia, her native country, and earned her PhD from Cornell University in 2013.

Nathan Gilbert (Lecturer in Latin Literature and Philosophy)

Nathan, who is already in Durham as a COFUND junior research fellow, is American, and recently completed his doctoral studies at Toronto (2015). His research focuses especially on Cicero and on Roman philosophical and intellectual history. 

(24 Feb 2017)

Ed Richardson participating in BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

Dr Edmund Richardson, Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History, will be speaking at this year's BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival, which takes place at the Sage Gateshead from 17th-19th March 2017. Ed, who is one of the AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers for 2016-17 (one of ten academics selected to work with the BBC to develop programmes based on their research), will present on 'Alexander the Great’s lost city', in which he tells the story of the liar and the lost city, and how the unlikeliest people can change history.

The event is free but tickets must be booked in advance. More information and tickets are available here:

(5 Feb 2017)

Serafina Cuomo to join Durham Department of Classics and Ancient History

The department is delighted to announce that Dr Serafina Cuomo will be joining us in Michaelmas 2017 to take up a post as Professor of Ancient History.

Dr Cuomo, a world renowned scholar of ancient mathematics and technology, will be joining us from Birkbeck (University of London). Serafina has published extensively on areas such as ancient account-keeping, mechanics, engineering, land surveying, and war engines, and her research aims to show how ancient technology and knowledge systems can teach us a great deal not just about theoretical practices but also about societal and cultural interactions in the ancient world. Her current research is on numeracy in ancient Greece and Rome, and she is in the process of completing a book on this subject for Harvard University Press.

(1 Feb 2017)

Thesmo returns to Durham!

Earlier this term, during the Durham Book Festival, Dr Sarah Miles (Classics), the Department of Classics and Ancient History, and the Durham Centre for Classical Reception were involved in a Q&A event which related to a performance of Thesmo, a provocative reworking of Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae by theatre practitioner Natalie Diddams.

The event was a great success but there was indeed a lot more left to say and thus we are delighted to announce that Natalie will be returning to Durham later this month to continue her conversation with Sarah.


(5 Dec 2016) » More about Thesmo returns to Durham!

A busy week for Ted Kaizer!

Our colleague Ted Kaizer, Reader in Roman Culture and History, has had a busy week! On Tuesday 22nd November 2016 at Hatfield College, he ran the very successful 'Durham Dura Day', an informal day of work-in-progress papers on Dura-Europos. Then, later the same week, his new edited volume on 'Religion, Society and Culture at Dura-Europos' was published. Well done, Ted!

(27 Nov 2016)

Amy Russell elected to AHRC's Peer Review College

Many congratulations to Amy Russell who has been appointed as a member of the AHRC’s Peer Review College (PRC).

(18 Nov 2016)

PhD success for William Wallis

Congratulations to William Wallis who has passed his viva with minor typographical corrections and is to be awarded a PhD for his thesis on Ancient Portraits of Poets: Communities, Canons, Receptions.

William's PhD studentship was part of the ERC funded 'Living Poets' project, which aimed to develop a new approach to classical poetry, based on how listeners and readers imagined the Greek and Roman poets.

William's supervisors were Verity Platt, Edmund Thomas and Barbara Graziosi. His external examiner was Jas Elsner, his internal examiner was Ioannis Ziogas and, chairing the viva, was Ed Richardson.

Thanks and many congratulations to all concerned.

(14 Nov 2016)

Prestigious appointment for Professor Barbara Graziosi

Barbara Graziosi, Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History, and the current Head of Department, has been invited to sit on the Academic Council for the Comparative Study of Antiquity of the newly established International Center for the Study of Ancient Text Cultures at Renmin University in Beijing.

(10 Nov 2016) » More about Prestigious appointment for Professor Barbara Graziosi

PhD Viva success for Francis Barnaby Chesterton

Warm congratulations to our PGR, Francis Barnaby Chesterton (Barney), who passed his viva today and is to be awarded a PhD for his thesis on ‘The Bookish Turn: Assessing the Impact of the Book-roll on authorial self-representation in early Hellenistic poetry.’

Ivana Petrovic was Barney’s supervisor, Richard Hunter was the external examiner, and Jennifer Ingleheart was the internal examiner.

Thanks and many congratulations to all concerned.

(3 Nov 2016)

Durham Classicists overrun the Polis!

Congratulations to Emeritus Professor P. J. Rhodes FBA, and to Dr Christopher Farrell, currently a Lecturer in the Department of Classics & Ancient History, who both have articles published in the latest edition of Polis:The Journal for Ancient Political Thought. You can find out more here:;jsessionid=1m3isjfbh9y96.x-brill-live-03

(28 Oct 2016)

PhD Viva success for Jamie Taylor

Congratulations are due to one of our PhD students, Jamie Taylor, who had his viva today and is to be awarded a PhD for his thesis on 'Ancient Greek Tyranny: A New Phenomenon or a New Name for an Old Phenomenon?'.

Prof. Edward Harris was Jamie's supervisor, Prof. Tom Harrison was the external examiner, and our very own Dr Kathryn Stevens was the internal examiner.

Best wishes to all concerned!

(28 Oct 2016)

Student successes

Prizewinning Durham Students! Here is a list of students who were awarded prizes for their excellent work in 2015-16. Perhaps next year *your* name might be on the list!

(6 Oct 2016) » More about Student successes

Congratulations and farewell to Dr Peter Fane-Saunders

Congratulations and farewell to our post-doctoral fellow Dr Peter Fane-Saunders who has left us to take up a position in the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck (University of London).

(5 Oct 2016)

Dr Matthew Duncombe moves to Nottingham

Many congratulations to our post-doctoral fellow Dr Matthew Duncombe who has been appointed to a permanent position in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham. Matthew will spend one year there as a British Academy Fellow, working on his project entitled 'Relativity in Ancient Philosophy', and then from 2017 he will be in post as an Assistant Professor.

(5 Oct 2016)

New academic staff arrive in the department

A very warm welcome to our new colleagues who have now arrived and are busy preparing for the start of term. They are Dr Christopher Burden-Strevens who joins us from Glasgow, Dr Jennifer Hilder who has come up from KCL, Dr Rebecca Usherwood from Nottingham, Dr Christopher Farrell from Exeter, Dr Benjamin Harriman from Cambridge, and Dr Robin Nadeau from Exeter. We are also welcoming back this year Dr Nick Freer. We are so glad to have you all here and we are looking forward to getting to know you better over the coming year.

(5 Oct 2016)

Welcome to our three new post-doctoral fellows

We are delighted to welcome into residence our new post-doctoral fellows! They are Dr Arianna Gullo, a Newton International Fellow from Pisa, Dr Nathan Gilbert, a COFUND Junior Research Fellow from Toronto, and Dr Anthony Hooper, a COFUND Junior Research Fellow from Sydney. They join our other post-doctoral fellows still in situ, Dr Monica Hellstrom and Dr Ugo Zilioli. We hope you will enjoy your time in Durham and we look forward very much to working with you!

(5 Oct 2016)

Nicolò Benzi appointed at UCL

Congratulations to Nicolò Benzi (PhD 2016), who has accepted a one-year teaching fellowship in ancient philosophy at the Department of Greek & Latin, University College London. Nicolò was previously a Newman Fellow at the Plato Centre, Trinity College Dublin (2015-16).

(25 Sep 2016)

Newton International Fellowship success

We are delighted that we will be welcoming Dr Arianna Gullo here in October, with a prestigious Newton International Fellowship -- a highly competitive post-doctoral award backed by the British Academy and Royal Society. Dr Gullo, whose application here was sponsored by Andrej Petrovic before his move to a post in the US, comes to us from Pisa, and will be working on a 6th-century AD epigrammist, Julian the Egyptian.

(22 Sep 2016)

Dr Paola Bassino moves to Winchester

Paola Bassino, who gained her PhD at Durham in 2013, is moving from a one-year lectureship at Exeter to a permanent post at the University of Winchester. Congratulations to her!

(22 Jul 2016)

Visiting Scholar Fellowship for student Barnaby Chesterton

Barnaby Chesterton, who is finishing his PhD on ‘Constructions of Authorial Personae in Early Hellenistic Poetry’ under the supervision of Dr Ivana Petrovic, has won a Visiting Scholar Fellowship for Spring 2017 at the Texas Tech Humanities Center. Congratulations to him!

(6 Jul 2016)

Fellowship awards

Congratulations to Dr Thorsten Fögen, who has been selected as a Fellow of the Morphomata Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Cologne for 2016/17; and to Dr Phillip Horky, who has a Fellowship at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina during Michaelmas 2016.

(31 May 2016)

The Guardian University League Tables 2017

We have risen to third (from fourth last year) in the Guardian University League tables for 2017 -- our best perfomance to date in the Gaurdian, which puts more weight on student exerience (relative to research excellence) than the other tables.

(23 May 2016)

2017 Complete University Guide

Durham Classics has move up from fourth to second place in the latest UK league table - the 2017 Complete University Guide.

(25 Apr 2016)

Durham wins bid for TRAC2017

In a tight vote, a joint Archaeology and Classics team beat out Southampton and Edinburgh to be hosts for TRAC2017, the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference. Congratulations to the pitch team, PhD students Fabio Luci from Classics and Emily Hanscam from Archaeology; and to all the others who worked on the bid. 

(20 Mar 2016) » More about Durham wins bid for TRAC2017

Oliver Stone event

You can read about Oliver Stone's visit to Durham on 10th March, and his engagement with members of the Classics Department, here: to all involved, especially Ivana Petrovic!

(11 Mar 2016)

PhD success

Congratulations to Nicolò Benzi, who passed his PhD viva today. His thesis, written under the primary supervision of Phil, was called 'Philosophy in Verse: Competition and Early Greek Philosophical Thought.

(11 Mar 2016)

Classics For All funding for Living Poets

Francesca Richards and Barbara Graziosi have just won a grant from Classics for All to develop teaching materials for Primary Schools related to the Living Poets project, and help inroduce ancient authors and their works to local children.

Find out more about the Living Poets project here.

(6 Mar 2016)

BA Small Research Grant Success

Three awards, of £5,000-8,000, have been made to members of the Department by the British Academy to fund research projects: congratulations to Dr. James Corke-Webster (Constructed Sainthood: Test Cases for a Literary Approach to Hagiography); Dr Amy Russell (The social dynamics of image-making and ideology formation in the Roman empire); and Dr Kathryn Stevens ('Bond of heaven and earth': celestial-terrestrial relations in Late Babylonian scholarship)!

(2 Mar 2016)

BA Skills Innovator Award for Peter Heslin

Congratulations to Peter Heslin, who has won a British Academy Skills Innovator Award to help in the development of software which will enable users to use morphological and lexcial tools on any online text in Greek and Latin. Like Peter's 'Diogenes' software, this important work has the potential to make a huge array of texts available to a much wider range of users than before.

(26 Feb 2016)

Acclaim for Peter Heslin

Peter Heslin's book, The Museum of Augustus, has received an Honorable Mention in the Classics category of the prestigious PROSE Awards, administered by the the Professional and Scholarly Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers):

(17 Feb 2016)

International recognition for Matt Duncombe

Congratulations to Matt Duncombe, who has received honourable mention in the International Plato Society prize for the best PhD dissertation on Plato:

(17 Feb 2016)

Luke Evans successfully defends thesis

Luke Evans has successfully defended his thesis, 'Recipe for Love: A Semiotic Analysis of the Tools in the Erotic Magical Papyri', subject to minor corrections. Many congratulations Luke!

(11 Jan 2016)

Barbara Graziosi wins impact grant

Barbara Graziosi has been awarded funding from the AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund. The award (ca £20k) will enable Francesca Richards, who has just completed her doctorate on versions of the Odyssey for children, to collaborate with the theatre company Changeling Productions and with local primary schools to develop workshops and teaching materials. These will use Living Poets research to introduce famous Greek authors and their works to young children.

(10 Dec 2015)

Francesca Richards' successful thesis defence

Francesca Richards has successfully defended her thesis, 'Dangerous Creatures’: Children’s adaptations of Homer’s Odyssey in English 1699-2013', subject to minor corrections. Many congratulations Francesca!

(9 Dec 2015)

New publication on space and politics in Republican Rome

Dr. Amy Russell's first monograph, The Politics of Public Space in Republican Rome, has just come out with Cambridge University Press. Get your copy here!

(9 Dec 2015)

David Lewis appointed at Nottingham

Dr. David Lewis, who received his PhD from the department, has been appointed to a non-fixed lectureship in the Department of Classics at the University of Nottingham. Congratulations David!

(19 Nov 2015)

Tristan Herzogenrath-Amelung has MA thesis accepted for publication

Tristan Herzogenrath-Amelung has just had a revised version of his Durham MA thesis accepted to be published as an article in the journal Historia, entitled 'Social status and combat reality of Classical Greek epibatai'. Congratulations Tristan!

(17 Nov 2015)

Exciting new publication on the ancient Greek economy

Prof. Edward Harris (Emeritus Professor), Dr. Mark Woolmer (current department member ) and Dr. David Lewis (department alumnus) have co-edited the volume The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households and City States, just out with Cambridge University Press. Details can be found here). 

(12 Nov 2015)

Amy Russell awarded 2-year AHRC Leadership Fellowship

Dr. Amy Russell has been awarded a prestigious 2-year AHRC Leadership Fellowship for her exciting new project “Senatorial Monuments: a new approach to the social dynamics of ideology formation in the Roman empire”. 

(26 Oct 2015) » More about Amy Russell awarded 2-year AHRC Leadership Fellowship

Catherine Goode successfully defends her PhD

Catherine Goode has successfully defended her PhD. Congratulations Catherine!

(26 Oct 2015)

Durham alumnus Mirko Canevaro awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize

Mirko Canevaro, who studied for his PhD in the Classics and Ancient History Department at Durham, has been awarded the prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize, one of five Classicists in the UK to receive the award. Congratulations Mirko!

(26 Oct 2015)

Leonid Zhmud awarded Senior Research Fellowship at Durham

(2 Jul 2015) » More about Leonid Zhmud awarded Senior Research Fellowship at Durham

Nicolò Benzi awarded the Newman Fellowship

(23 Jun 2015) » More about Nicolò Benzi awarded the Newman Fellowship

Andrej Petrovic wins Humboldt Fellowship

The Department is delighted to announce that Dr Andrej Petrovic has been awarded a prestigious Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers.

(20 Oct 2014) » More about Andrej Petrovic