Dr Nigel Pollard

Dr Nigel Pollard
Associate Professor
Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology
Telephone: (01792) 604061

Besides his current postgraduate and undergraduate teaching at Swansea, and past teaching at Oxford, Bowdoin College (Maine, USA) and the University of Michigan, Dr Pollard was 2008-2009 Professor-in-Charge of Duke University’s Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome and 2013 Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor of Classics at Carleton College (Minnesota, USA). He has also co-directed summer schools in Rome and Pompeii for the British School at Rome.

Current Research

Dr Pollard is a Roman historian and archaeologist. His particular interests include cultural property protection in conflict zones, both historic and modern; all forms of interaction (culture, economy, administration, power and control) between the ruling elites of the Roman empire and its subjects. He works with all forms of evidence that sheds light on these issues, including art and archaeology, ancient texts and documents (inscriptions, papyri) and modern (20th century) archives. Much of his research focuses on the eastern part of the Roman empire (Syria and Egypt) and Italy, although his interests range beyond those areas.

At present Dr. Pollard is primarily working on a study of protection, damage and reception of archaeological sites and monuments in the Second World War, including the work of the Allied Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Sub-Commission (the ‘Monuments Men’), and as a board member of the UK National Committee of the Blue Shield, engages with governments, NGOs and military personnel to promote the protection of cultural sites in conflicts and natural disasters.


  1. & The Complete Roman Legions. London-New York: Thames and Hudson.
  2. Soldiers, Cities, and Civilians in Roman Syria. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  3. Imperatores castra dedicaverunt: Security, army bases and military dispositions in later Roman Egypt (late third – fourth century AD). The Journal of Late Antiquity 6, 3-36.
  4. The Chronology of Karanis. A Reappraisal. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 35, 147-161.
  5. Art, Benefaction and Elites in Roman Etruria. Papers of the British School at Rome 66, 57-70.

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  • CLD300 Classics, Ancient History, Egyptology Dissertation

    Dissertation module for students doing single honours or joint honours degrees in Classics, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or Egyptology. The aim is for students to do detailed research, to work on a project for several months and to produce a scholarly study of c. 8000-10000 words. The dissertation topic can be chosen freely, in consultation with a member of academic staff and subject to compatibility with a student's degree scheme and availablilty of supervisors and library material.This is a chance for students to pursue an area in which they are especially interested, and to deal with it in depth. Students may choose to do museum-based research. There are two preparatory pieces of assessment: an abstract, outline and bibliography, and an analysis of crucial source material and/or secondary literature. Work on the dissertation itself takes up most of the two semesters. Students are expected to do research independently, but there is a series of lectures in the first semester to provide advice on research and scholarly writing, Every student will be assigned a supervisor who will be organising group sessions with his/her supervisees and who will also be available for one-to-one supervision sessions.

  • CLH150 Rome from Village to Empire: An Introduction to Roman History

    This module provides an introduction to the full sweep of Roman history from the origins of the city (traditionally recorded as 753 BC) through its expansion and development as the centre of a world empire to the political and military eclipse of the western empire in the 5th century AD. Students will learn about the political and military institutions of (in particular) the Republican and Imperial periods of Roman history, the cultural, social and economic characteristics of those periods, and about Rome's relationships with its subjects and neighbours. While the core of the module consists of lectures providing a survey overview of over a millenium of Roman history, seminars will enable students to undertake in-depth case studies relating to particular periods, engaging with both contemporary written evidence (read in translation) and material and visual evidence.

  • CLH216 Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome

    This module enables students to examine and analyse the development and structure of the Roman imperial army and its role both in war (foreign and domestic) and in policing the Roman empire. The main emphasis is on the period 31 BC to c. AD 300, although earlier and later periods will be considered as background. Much of the emphasis is on the organisation of the army and its war-fighting capabilities, considering weapons and equipment, tactics, and military technology. Using primary written and archaeological evidence, as well as modern scholarship, students will study the different external enemies and other security challenges (internal security, civil war) faced by legions in different parts of the empire.

  • CLH381 The History and Archaeology of Roman Britain

    This module examines the history and archaeology of Roman Britain from the initial contacts under Julius Caeser to the third century AD.


  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Mark Humphries
  • Expansion of Christianity in the late-antique Balkans,300-600 (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Mark Humphries
  • War and Cultural Heritage in Florence, 1943-1946 (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Catherine Fletcher

Principal archaeological fieldwork

Dr Pollard is an experienced field archaeologist and has worked in many parts of the Roman empire, ranging from the Roman colonia of Glevum (Gloucester) in England to sites on the eastern margins of the empire, such as Koptos (modern Qift) in Egypt and Androna (Andarin) in Syria, taling in sites like Carthage (Tunisia) and Pompeii along the way.

In addition, Dr. Pollard has worked on museum collections and archives including the University of Michigan’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology (materials from Karanis and Terenouthis in Egypt, and Seleucia-on-the-Tigris in Iraq), the Yale University Art Gallery (Dura-Europos), the UK and US National Archives and the US Air Force Research Agency archive (on Second World War monuments protection). He has also published archaic and Republican pottery from Professor Margareta Steinby’s Lacus Iuturnae excavations in the Forum Romanum, and was heavily involved in the production of the later volumes (4-6) of the Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae, an international reference work on ancient Rome.