Stephen Harrison is a Greek historian with a particular interest in kingship, empire, and identity. He came to Swansea in 2016 after completing his PhD at Cambridge; the thesis, entitled Achaemenid Kingship, Alexander the Great, and the Early Seleucids challenges traditional periodization and offers new insights into the representation of monarchy. He is currently preparing a heavily-revised version of the thesis for publication. His research ranges across chronological and geographic boundaries, with a particular focus on cultural interaction. At Swansea, Dr Harrison teaches widely on subjects in Greek and Near-Eastern history, across the Classical and Hellenistic periods.


  • CL-M35 Royal Space: The King and His Palace in the Ancient World

    From ancient Assyria and Egypt, to Macedonia and the Hellenistic Far East, this course uses palaces as a window for exploring the development of societies in the First Millennium BC. Beyond simply being the residences of kings, palaces were integral in communication between ruler and subject and their design tells us much about royal ideology. Having examined a broad range of palaces ¿ providing students with an introduction to using archaeological remains for historical analysis along the way ¿ we explore how these palaces were used: how did the function of palaces change over time? What was the role of women within royal space? We then turn to consider the way that palaces were represented in literature, exploring ideas of despotism and tyranny, before thinking about how the re-use of existing palaces could function as a means of cultural interchange. By the end of the module, students will have a comprehensive understanding of the role of the palace within the ancient societies studied.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • CLH297 Alexander and the Hellenistic world

    This module focuses on Alexander¿s conquest of the Persian Empire and the impact it had on culture and politics of the ancient world. The first half of the module looks at the Macedonian campaign; the second half deals with the struggle among Alexander¿s successors and then deals with some of the cultural and political developments which defined the Hellenistic world.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Outreach Officer - Department of Classics, Ancient History, and Egyptology

    2017 - Present

  • Employability Officer - Department of Classics, Ancient History, and Egyptology

    2017 - Present

External Responsibilities

  • Council Member, Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

    2017 - Present