I am a Roman historian and archaeologist with a particular interest in urban life and how this can shed light on wider issues of Roman society and culture. I am also interested in the intellectual history of archaeology. Much of my research to date has focused on the ancient site of Pompeii, although I am also the co-author of a book on the Roman army (The Complete Roman Legions, with Nigel Pollard) and I have co-edited (with Ray Laurence) a volume on cultural identity in the Roman world. In 2008 I founded Blogging Pompeii, a news and discussion site for Pompeii and the archaeological sites of the Bay of Naples.

Areas of Expertise

  • Pompeii
  • Herculaneum
  • Roman urbanisation
  • Domestic artefacts
  • Roman social history

Publications

  1. Boundaries and control in the Roman house. Journal of Roman Archaeology 29, 125-141.
  2. Urbanization. In Alison Cooley (Ed.), A Companion to Roman Italy. (pp. 293-307). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  3. & The Complete Roman Legions, paperback. London: Thames and Hudson.
  4. Giuseppe Fiorelli 1823–96 & Amedeo Maiuri 1886–1963: Excavating and Preserving Pompeii. In B. Fagan (Ed.), The Great Archaeologists. (pp. 124-129). Thames and Hudson.
  5. The Complete Pompeii, paperback. London: Thames and Hudson.

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Teaching

  • CL-M09 Dissertation in Ancient History and or Classical Literature

    Dissertation in Ancient History or an approved Classical subject.

  • CL-M100 Roman houses and households

    Roman writers claimed that the house was the basic unit of the state and embodied traditional Roman values and ideals. This module explores these values and ideals by examining both literary and archaeological evidence for the Roman house, and discussing modern theories about the structure and meaning of the home.

  • 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 availability 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.

  • CLH145 Introduction to Greek and Roman Art and Architecture

    This module is an introduction to the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome from c. 800 BC to c. AD 500, examining technical and aesthetic developments in ancient art in their cultural, social and political contexts, and providing an introduction to their influences on later periods of western art and architecture. Media to be examined include sculpture in stone, bronze and terracotta, including portraits and relief sculpture as well as free-standing statues; painting, including painted pottery, tomb painting and domestic wall-painting; and the architecture of temples, secular public buildings and houses. Students will learn to engage with and discuss a range of visual materials in seminars, as well as reading both ancient and modern discussions of the material at which they will be looking.

  • 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.

  • CLH2001 Ancient and Historic Places (Study-Trip/Field project; Ancient History)

    This module is designed to enable students to examine the (primarily ancient) history of a region through a combination of study on site and in the classroom. The specific focus of the 2013-14 version of the module is on Campania in southern Italy, and the cultural impact of Greek colonisation and Roman control on that region c. 700 BC to AD 79, with case studies of sites such as Velia, Cumae, Poseidonia/Paestum, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Puteoli. The approach taken is an interdisciplinary one, using both written material (ancient texts and inscriptions) and visual/material evidence.

  • 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.

  • CLH294 Pompeii and the Cities of Vesuvius (Level 2)

    Pompeii is very different from other archaeological sites in terms of its destruction, excavation and preservation. The fact that most of the archaeological evidence from Pompeii relates to a single moment ¿ AD79 ¿ is both its strength and its weakness. This course aims to introduce students to the wealth of evidence from Pompeii that can be used to examine Roman urban life, but also to make them aware of the problems that affect our knowledge and interpretation of this evidence.

  • CLH369 Italy before the Romans

    Students often think of Italy as a homogeneous culture under Roman culture. The aim of this module is to challenge such assumptions by examining the varied pre-Roman cultures of the Italian peninsula from a number of perspectives: archaeological, epigraphic, and literary texts. The module will discuss evidence for politics, society, and cultural interactions from Archaic period to the Punic Wars.

  • CLH394 Pompeii and the Cities of Vesuvius (level 3)

    Pompeii is very different from other archaeological sites in terms of its destruction, excavation and preservation. The fact that most of the archaeological evidence from Pompeii relates to a single moment ¿ AD79 ¿ is both its strength and its weakness. This course aims to introduce students to the wealth of evidence from Pompeii that can be used to examine Roman urban life, but also to make them aware of the problems that affect our knowledge and interpretation of this evidence.

  • HIHD00 Heritage Dissertation (Practice-Based)

    This module affords students the opportunity to complete their MA in Heritage by undertaking a practical heritage project. The project, worth 67% of the marks, may be undertaken independently, or via a placement with a heritage project or organisation. It will be accompanied by a reflective commentary worth 33% of the marks.

  • HIHD01 Heritage Dissertation (Written)

    Students produce a dissertation on a heritage topic, chosen and developed in conjunction with their supervisor in line with the standard College MA requirements.