Dr Ersin Hussein
Lecturer
Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology
Room: Office - 119
First Floor
James Callaghan
Singleton Campus

I am an ancient historian and my research primarily focuses on local identity formation in the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean. My PhD studies investigated the culture and society of Roman Cyprus and was driven by study of the surviving material artefacts, notably inscriptions. I am currently in the final stages of revising this text which is under contract with Oxford University Press to be published as a monograph.

Upon completion of my PhD at Warwick University in 2015, I continued to develop my research on the phenomena of cross-cultural contact in the Roman Empire and on the materiality of ancient artefacts (their use, abuse, reuse and reception). My practice and outlook is interdisciplinary and my research on local identity formation, particularly in relation to ancient Cyprus and its landscape, has been developed most recently through an ongoing collaboration with the visual artist Yorgos Petrou. The most recent stages of our interdisciplinary research has been supported by the Cyprus High Commission (London). In November 2017 we hosted the art exhibition 33° 3’ 45’’ East (at the Cyprus High Commission from 23rd November to 2nd December) which presented our combined work to date on the themes of geological stratification and identity formation in Cyprus. This event drew specialist and non-specialist audiences and was featured as part of the online documentary series Κύπριοι του κόσμου.

I am currently developing research on metals and identity formation in antiquity (particularly on copper) and foresee the development of this into a long-term interdisciplinary project which explores the impact of metals on communities from antiquity to the present day.

Areas of Expertise

  • Roman Cyprus
  • Local identity formation in the Roman provinces
  • Mining, metallurgy, and identity in antiquity
  • The ancient economy
  • Greek and Latin epigraphy
  • The materiality of objects

Publications

  1. & A Musical Note from Roman Cyprus. Trends in Classics 8(1)

Teaching

  • 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.

  • CLH2005 Set in Stone? Inscribing and Writing in Antiquity

    This module will provide an overview of a history of inscribing objects in antiquity and will focus on the use of epigraphic evidence for the study of ancient history. Over the course of the module students will engage with a wide range of epigraphic data from different ancient cultures, for instance: vows and dedications, milestones, curse tablets, inventories, ostraka, instrumenta domestica from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Near East. The module will start with a history of epigraphy as a discipline and then an overview of how epigraphers study, publish and research inscriptions. The remainder of the module will approach inscriptions by type or material and will use these case studies to explore why and how epigraphic evidence is crucial for the study of ancient history. Topics will include: ¿ the use of epigraphy for the understanding of ancient languages ¿ dating and palaeography ¿ family, society and ancient identities ¿ literacy in antiquity ¿ the re-use of objects ¿ damnatio memoriae ¿ euergetism ¿ ancient religions ¿ the impact of imperial rule ¿ democracy ¿ death and burial The delivery of teaching material and assessment will include practical elements. For instance, students will be required to attend teaching sessions at museums and to prepare and deliver onsite presentations.

  • CLH2007 The Roman Economy

    The Roman economy is an exciting and dynamic topic of study. Firstly, no consistent, hard sets of data exist for its study. Secondly, scholars from a range of disciplines remain fiercely divided about the character of the ancient economy in general with some choosing to explain a range of activities, attitudes and behaviours as `sophisticated¿ or using modern economic terms and models; with others exploring the ancient economy ever mindful of the environmental and social limitations of conditions in pre-industrial societies. This module will present a range of evidence that hints at the structure and scale of the Roman economy whilst posing fundamental questions that continue to drive scholarly debates: How can we build a picture of the ancient economy and assess ancient attitudes to production, consumption and trade without sets of hard data? In what terms can we fairly and realistically approach the study of the ancient economy? What evidence is there for long-distance trade? How `rational¿ was the Roman economy? How similar was the ancient economy to our own? This module will be multi- and interdisciplinary, introducing and exploring a range of literary and material evidence from across the Roman Empire, comparative evidence from other pre-industrial societies and modern theories.

  • CLH3005 Set in Stone? Inscribing and Writing in Antiquity

    This module will provide an overview of a history of inscribing objects in antiquity and will focus on the use of epigraphic evidence for the study of ancient history. Over the course of the module students will engage with a wide range of epigraphic data from different ancient cultures, for instance: vows and dedications, milestones, curse tablets, inventories, ostraka, instrumenta domestica from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Near East. The module will start with a history of epigraphy as a discipline and then an overview of how epigraphers study, publish and research inscriptions. The remainder of the module will approach inscriptions by type or material and will use these case studies to explore why and how epigraphic evidence is crucial for the study of ancient history. Topics will include: ¿ the use of epigraphy for the understanding of ancient languages ¿ dating and palaeography ¿ family, society and ancient identities ¿ literacy in antiquity ¿ the re-use of objects ¿ damnatio memoriae ¿ euergetism ¿ ancient religions ¿ the impact of imperial rule ¿ democracy ¿ death and burial The delivery of teaching material and assessment will include practical elements. For instance, students will be required to attend teaching sessions at museums and to prepare and deliver onsite presentations.

  • CLH3007 The Roman Economy

    The Roman economy is an exciting and dynamic topic of study. Firstly, no consistent, hard sets of data exist for its study. Secondly, scholars from a range of disciplines remain fiercely divided about the character of the ancient economy in general with some choosing to explain a range of activities, attitudes and behaviours as `sophisticated¿ or using modern economic terms and models; with others exploring the ancient economy ever mindful of the environmental and social limitations of conditions in pre-industrial societies. This module will present a range of evidence that hints at the structure and scale of the Roman economy whilst posing fundamental questions that continue to drive scholarly debates: How can we build a picture of the ancient economy and assess ancient attitudes to production, consumption and trade without sets of hard data? In what terms can we fairly and realistically approach the study of the ancient economy? What evidence is there for long-distance trade? How `rational¿ was the Roman economy? How similar was the ancient economy to our own? This module will be multi- and interdisciplinary, introducing and exploring a range of literary and material evidence from across the Roman Empire, comparative evidence from other pre-industrial societies and modern theories.