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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History


Advance HE Athena Swan Bronze Award for Durham Classics

We are delighted to announce that the Department of Classics and Ancient History has been awarded an Advance HE Athena Swan Bronze Award.

Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005, when it was the UK Equality Challenge Unit in order, to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. It aimed to recognise and celebrate good practices in higher education and research institutions towards the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support staff
  • trans staff and students

In relation to their representation

  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

This award marks our ongoing commitment as a Department to equality, diversity, and inclusiveness, and it recognises our efforts to build and sustain a supportive and nurturing academic community.

(7 May 2019)

Many congratulations to Professor Christopher Rowe

Our wonderful Prof. Emeritus Christopher Rowe has been awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship for 2019-2021 to enable him to complete his new OCT of Aristotle, 'Eudemian Ethics'. 

Congratulations, Christopher!

(3 May 2019)

2020 Complete University Guide

We are delighted to announce that Durham Classics has been ranked as the 3rd best Classics department in the UK in the 2020 Complete University Guide. We placed 5th overall for student satisfaction and 2nd overall for research quality and for graduate prospects.


(1 May 2019)

Welll done, Simona Martorana!

Congratulations to our talented PhD student Simona Martorana, who is supervised by Professor Jennifer Ingleheart and Dr Ioannis Ziogas, has been awarded a place on the Harvard-Durham Doctoral Student Exchange Programme.

This is a fantastic achievement. Well done, Simona!

(30 Apr 2019)

Congratulations to Alberto Rigolio

Many congratulations to our wonderful colleague Alberto Rigolio whose Oxford University Press monograph 'Christians in Conversation' is out now.
Well done, Alberto; it looks wonderful!

(23 Apr 2019)

Congratulations to Blaz Zabel

We are delighted to announce that Durham PhD student Blaz Zabel has been awarded a 'Pre-doctoral Visiting Research Award' from the Fulbright Foundation. He will be going to Princeton for 9 months (during the academic year 2019/20) to work with Dr Joshua Billings on research related to his PhD project, 'Homeric Epic and World Literature: A Comparative Study of Method'. This is an outstanding achievement and we are sure that Blaz will produce some excellent work during his time in Princeton.

Congratulations, Blaz!

(11 Apr 2019)

PhD success for Andrea Giannotti

Many congratulations to Andrea Giannotti who passed his doctoral viva this morning, with minor corrections, for a thesis on ‘The Pre-play Ceremonies of the Athenian Dionysia'.

His supervisor was Dr Phil Horky (as first supervisor), and he also received guidance from Dr Andrea Capra (as second supervisor), and Professor Peter Rhodes (as informal advisor).

His examiners were Dr David Carter (Reading) as external and our own Professor Polly Low as internal. The chair of the viva was Professor Ted Kaizer.

Well done and best wishes to all concerned.

(3 Apr 2019)

Congratulations to Durham alumna Lilah-Grace Canevaro

Many congratulations to our talented Durham alumna Dr Lilah Grace Canevaro, now in post at Edinburgh, who is one of the nominees for this year's Runciman Award for her OUP monograph 'Women of Substance in Homeric Epic'. Good luck, Lilah! We very much hope you win!

(13 Mar 2019)

Congratulations to Kathryn Stevens and to Justine T. Wolfenden

Congratulation to Kathryn Stevens and to J. T. Wolfenden who have both been nominated as Durham Women Making a Difference as part of the University’s celebrations for International Women’s Day 2019. This is the second consecutive year in which J. T. has been nominated.

Nominations are anonymous but Kathryn and Justine were nominated because they were felt to have a made a difference to the lives of their students, colleagues, and to the wider community. Kathryn’s nomination opened by saying that ‘Kathryn is one of the most inspirational members in a department studded with greatness.’ J.T.’s ran ‘Justine is an outstanding and hugely inspiring tutor who goes above and beyond the call of duty in encouraging and supporting her students and colleagues, both within the department of Classics and outside it.’ You can read the full nominations here.

As this is a celebration and not a competition, there is no outright winner but nominees are invited to a celebration lunch at Hotel Indigo later in March.

(6 Mar 2019)

Durham Classics in QS World University Top 50 rankings

Congratulations to the Department of Classics and Ancient History which was ranked number 31 in the top 50 universities for Classics worldwide in the QS World University subject rankings for 2019. Durham is one of only seven UK universities to be placed in the rankings for Classics.

A total of 1,222 institutions from 78 countries were assessed and the QS subject rankings looked at 48 subjects in five broad subject areas. Rankings are based on academic and employer reputation, research citations and the productivity and impact of the work published by academics. They take into account the insight of more than 83,000 academics and 42,000 employers around the world, as well as 150 million research citations from 22 million academic papers.

(27 Feb 2019)

Dr Emma Woolerton on BBC Radio 4

Our very own Dr Emma Woolerton was on BBC Radio 4 just before Christmas. She was discussing Lucretius with the author Naomi Alderman in an episode of the series 'Science Stories'. You can listen to the episode here.

Congratulations Emma on your excellent contribution to the programme!

(8 Jan 2019)

Nicholas Horsfall (1946-2019)

We are sorry to announce the death of the eminent philologist, commentator, and Vergil scholar. Dr Nicholas Horsfall, Honorary Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History who passed away on the 1st of January 2019.

(8 Jan 2019) » More about Nicholas Horsfall (1946-2019)

PhD success for Eris Williams-Reed

Many congratulations to Eris Williams-Reed who passed her PhD viva today with minor corrections for a thesis on 'Water and Worship in the Roman Near East'. Eris was supervised by Professor Ted Kaizer, with Professor Serafina Cuomo as her second supervisor. Her external examiner was Professor Kevin Butcher (Warwick) and her internal examiner was Edmund Thomas.
Well done, Eris; we are so very proud of you!


(13 Dec 2018)

New publication: Paola Bassino

Warm congratulations to our alumna Paola Bassino on her new book, a commentary on The Certamen Homeri et Hesiodi. This book is an expanded version of Paola’s doctoral thesis which she completed at Durham in 2013. Paola is now Lecturer in History at the University of Winchester and you can read more about her current research here.

Well done, Paola!

(6 Dec 2018)

Congratulations to Kathryn Stevens

We are very excited to announce the release of the world’s first film in Babylonian, ‘The Poor Man of Nippur’, which was co-produced by our very own and very brilliant Kathryn Stevens, together with a team from Cambridge Assyriology.

You can watch the film here.

(3 Dec 2018)

Professor Jennifer Ingleheart's curated exhibition at the Bodleian

Listen out for our Head of Department, Professor Jennifer Ingleheart, on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking show, discussing the mucky marvels of The Bodleian library's Phi collection

The show goes out live on Tuesday 27th November 2018 at 10:00 p.m. but you can also listen to it here during and after the broadcast.

Jennifer is interviewed as part of a piece about an exhibition that she has curated which is now on display in Oxford. In the Victorian age, the Bodleian created a restricted category for obscene books, known as phi. Jennifer’s exhibition, ‘Story of Phi: Restricted Books’, showcases many items never previously exhibited, and explores changing ideas about censorship and sexuality. The exhibition is free and it runs from Thursday 15th November 2018 - Sunday 13th January 2019 at the Bodleian's Weston Library.

(27 Nov 2018)

Classics students sweep the board at Faculty Awards

Many congratulations to three of our students who have received awards from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities for Student Excellence!

Congratulations to Arved Kirschbaum for his outstanding contribution to the academic life of the department.

Congratulations to Esther Meijer on her exceptional progress in her doctoral research.

And congratulations to Archie MacCormack on his outstanding academic achievement.

Well done to all of you. We are so proud of you and feel very privileged to have you with us in the Department!

(16 Oct 2018)

Congratulations to Dr Amy Russell

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Dr Amy Russell is one of this year’s recipients of a Philip Leverhulme Prize.

Philip Leverhulme Prizes recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. Every year the prize scheme makes up to thirty awards of £100,000, across a range of academic disciplines, which this year includes Classics.

This very prestigious award reflects Amy’s all-round excellence and her stellar track record as a scholar, and it is a fantastic achievement for Amy to have received one.

Well done, Amy!

(16 Oct 2018)

Congratulations to Ed Richardson

Many congratulations to Ed Richardson on the publication of his new edited volume 
Classics in Extremis:The Edges of Classical Reception.

Classics in Extremis reimagines classical reception. Its contributors explore some of the most remarkable, hard-fought and unsettling claims ever made on the ancient world: from the coal-mines of England to the paradoxes of Borges, from Victorian sexuality to the trenches of the First World War, from American public-school classrooms to contemporary right-wing politics. How does the reception of the ancient world change under impossible strain?

Its protagonists are 'marginal' figures who resisted that definition in the strongest terms. Contributors argue for a decentered model of classical reception: where the 'marginal' shapes the 'central' as much as vice versa – and where the most unlikely appropriations of antiquity often have the greatest impact. What kind of distortions does the model of 'centre' and 'margins' produce? How can 'marginal' receptions be recovered most effectively?

Bringing together some of the leading scholars in the field, Classics in Extremis moves beyond individual case studies to develop fresh methodologies and perspectives on the study of classical reception.


(16 Oct 2018)

Congratulations to our alumnus Yoon Cheol Lee

Many congratulations to our alumnus Yoon Cheol Lee, who completed his PhD on Protagoras in 2012 under Luca Castagnoli’s supervision, and has just been appointed to a permanent position as Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Chungnam National University in Daejeon, South Korea. Well done, Yoon Cheol

(3 Sep 2018)

Ben Clapperton - viva success!

Warm congratulations to Ben Clapperton who has passed his PhD vivia for a thesis on 'Ancient Greek Law in a Near Eastern Context: Comparative Case Studies of Homicide Pollution and Adultery Law in Greece and the Near East’. Mirko Canevaro was the external examiner, Kathryn Stevens was the internal examiner, and Edward Harris was Ben's supervisor.

(29 Aug 2018)

Congratulations to our alumnus Nicolò Benzi

We are delighted to hear that after two very successful years at UCL our alumnus Nicolò Benzi has been appointed to a one year position at Manchester. Nicolò produced a doctoral thesis at Durham on 'Philosophy in Verse: Competition and Early Greek Philosophical Thought' under the supervision of Phillip Horky, and he was a very important part of our academic community. We look forward to seeing more of him now he is back in the North!

(29 Aug 2018)

Congratulations to Zara Chadha

Congratulations to our alumna Zara Chadha who has been appointed to a one year position at Leeds. Zara studied for her MA and doctorate with us and produced a thesis in 2014 on magic in Augustan poetry, particularly love-elegy, under the supervision of Peter Heslin. Zara has been based in Glasgow since 2015 initially as a University Teacher and then as Editorial Assistant for the ERC-funded project, Fragments of the Republican Roman Orators (FRRO). 

(29 Aug 2018)

New publication: David Lewis

Congratulations to our alumnus David Lewis, now in a permanent lectureship at Edinburgh, whose book of the thesis (supervised by Edward Harris) 'Greek Slave Systems in their Eastern Mediterranean Context, c.800-146 BC' has recently been published by OUP. Well done, David. It looks great!

(29 Aug 2018)

NSS 2018 results success!

We are delighted to announce that in the NSS results for 2018 our overall student satisfaction rate rose from 90.1% (2017) to a fantastic 97.4%, and our scores have improved on almost every single measure. This is an amazing result and we are so proud of our staff & students!

(31 Jul 2018)