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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History


Dr Leonardo Gregoratti

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Contact Dr Leonardo Gregoratti


Leonardo Gregoratti was educated at the Universities of Udine (Italy) and Trier (Germany). He has conducted research in Udine, Trier, Kiel and Bergen. His research interests include Roman History and Epigraphy and the history of Western Asia, in particular the Roman Near East, Palmyra, the long distance trade and the Parthian Kingdom. He is about to publish his first monograph entitled Between Rome and Ctesiphon: Royal Authority and Peripheral Powers along the Trade Routes of the Parthian Kingdom with Franz Steiner Verlag (Stuttgart). He collaborates as classical historian with the archaeological missions conducted by Udine University in Syria and Iraq.

Research interests

The Parthian Empire: A five-century long-lasting empire is slowly coming out from the shadow of history regaining its cultural and historical identity. I am interested in every aspect of the Arsacid state’s history and administration, in particular in the archeological works carried out in Iran, Iraq and Turkmenistan by both western and local missions. My aim is to collect enough information to create a detailed geopolitical overview of the Parthian Empire.

Palmyra, Dura-Europos and the Roman Near East: I am interested mainly in the political, social and economic aspects of the Roman presence along the Euphrates frontier and in the Roman provinces of Syria, Arabia, Palaestina and Mesopotamia.

Eastern Client Kingdoms: I am investigating the role of the eastern client kingdoms of both Rome and Parthia in order to spot differences and similarities in their histories, relationships with the central authority and methods of territorial control.

Aquileian Families North and East of the Alps: This concerns an epigraphic project aimed at individuating the presence of Roman gentes and families from the Italic colony of Aquileia in north-eastern Italy, in the territories of Noricum, Pannonia and Upper Moesia.

Parthians, Indo-Parthians, Kushans and the Silk Road: This concerns an attempt to view all the different political realities along the western branch of the Silk Road as a network system including different elements, with each of these able to influence the others and the trade activity between China and Rome.


Chapter in book

  • Gregoratti, L. (2014). The Parthian Empire: Romans, Jews, Nomads, and Chinese on the Silk Road. In The Silk Road: Vol. 1 Long-Distance Trade, Culture, and Society: Interwoven History. Walter, M. N. & Ito-Adler, J. P. Cambridge Institutes Press. 43-70.
  • Gregoratti, L. (2013). Epigraphy of Later Parthia. In Voprosy Epigrafiki: Sbornik statei (Problems of Epigraphy: Collected Articles). Avdeev, G. 7: 276-284.
  • Gregoratti, L. (2013). Hatra: on the West of the East. In Hatra. Politics, Culture and Religion Between Parthia and Rome. Dirven, L. Steiner, Stuttgart. 21: 45-54.
  • Gregoratti, L (2013). The Caucasus: a communication Space between Nomads and Sedentaries (1st BC-2nd AD). In Mountain Areas as Frontiers and/or Interaction and Connectivity Spaces. Magnani, S. Arachne. 477-493.
  • Gregoratti, L. (2012). Fighting a Dying Enemy: Western view on the Struggle between Rome and the Parthians. In Myth-Making and Myth-Breaking in History and the Humanities. Dobre, C., Epurescu-Pascovici, I. & Ghita, C. Bucuresti. 25-36.
  • Gregoratti, L. (2012). Parthian Women in Flavius Josephus. In Jüdisch-hellenistische Literatur in ihrem interkulturellen Kontext. Hirschberger, M. Peter Lang, Frankfurt. 183-192.
  • Gregoratti, L. (2010). The Palmyrenes and the Arsacid Policy. In Voprosy Epigrafiki: Sbornik statei (Problems of Epigraphy: Collected Articles). Avdeev, G. 4: 21-37.

Journal Article

  • Gregoratti, L. (2014). North Italic Settlers along the “Amber Route”. Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 19: 133-153.
  • Gregoratti L. (2013). The Journey east of the Great King, East and West in the Parthian Kingdom. Parthica 15: 43-52.
  • Gregoratti, L. (2013). The Role of the mint of Seleucia on the Tigris in the Arsacid History. Mesopotamia 47: 129-136.
  • Gregoratti, L. (2012). Linee privilegiate di contatto ed espansione delle élite dei centri italici nei territori alpini. Historikά 2: 55-62.
  • Gregoratti, L. (2012). The Parthians between Rome and China: Gan Ying’s mission into the West (1st century AD). Academic Quarter: Journal for humanistic research 4: 109-120.