Dr Tracey Rihll

About Me

Tracey Rihll taught at Leeds and Lampeter before Swansea, where she moved in 1990. She serves on the Council of the Hellenic Society, the editorial advisory board of Vulcan: The Journal of the Social and Cultural History of Military Technology (Brill), and is co-editor of Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science (Institute for Research in Classical Philosophy and Science, Princeton). She received an Onassis Foreigner's Fellowship in 2010-2011, and a Swansea University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012.

She has long specialized in the history of ancient science and technology, and more recently has been extending into the area of science and technology studies more generally. She also continues to work on slavery, and the social, economic and political history of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.


  1. Depreciation in Vitruvius. Classical Quarterly 63(2), 893-897.
  2. Technology and Society in the Ancient Greek and Roman Worlds. Washington DC: The American Historical Association and the Society for the History of technology.
  3. & Phatic Technologies. Technology in Society 33, 44-51.
  4. Greek science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. (Ed.). Science and mathematics in ancient Greek culture. C.J.Tuplin and T.E.Rihll (Ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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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.

  • CLH227 Kings, Tyrants and Lawgivers in Ancient Greece

    Greece is famous as the birthplace of democracy, but not all Greek states were democratic, and even the democracies had spells of autocratic government. This module focuses on such autocratic government in ancient Greece.

  • CLH284 Writing Ancient History

    This module examines the writing and study of ancient history. It considers the range of available evidence (historical sources, epigraphy, biography, archaeology, numismatics) as well as modern approaches to the interpretation of the evidence.

  • CLH292 History of Ancient Technology and Engineering

    This module explores the material world of Greece and Rome. The design, construction or production of the structures and objects with which the ancients furnished their world is the subject of study.

  • HIH3318 Invention, innovation and technological revolutions

    Why do people talk about technological ‘revolutions’? Is life really so different before and after such a revolution? For whom? Is technological change the major factor in historical change? Or is the impact more limited? To explore these questions, this course will focus on four key historical transitions commonly called ‘revolutions’: the secondary products revolution (the acquisition and use of products that are obtained from living animals, e.g. wool, milk), the engineering revolution (the development of infrastructure and construction by the Romans e.g. aqueducts, roads, concrete); the industrial revolution (what do we mean by that actually?), and the electrical revolution (power at the flick of a switch). These topics are studied through a mix of reading, illustrated lectures, class discussions, and short debates.


  • 'South Wales in the Iron Age and Roman Periods.' (awarded 2012)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Edwin Owens
  • 'The Development of Ancient Siege Warfare 431BC-31BC' (awarded 2012)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Edwin Owens
  • ''The Battlefield Role of the Classical Greek General (awarded 2012)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Maria Pretzler
  • The use and development of light and heavy infantry in ancient Greece from the battle of Marathon to the battle of Mantinea (awarded 2006)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr David Gill