Dr Ersin Hussein
Lecturer
Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology
Telephone: (01792) 604098
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 Roman provinces. My PhD thesis 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 monograph which is under contract with Oxford University Press.

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 (i.e. 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 significantly through an ongoing collaboration with the visual artist Yorgos Petrou. The most recent stages of our joint 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. The work created for this exhibition, along with academic essays on the materiality of copper and Cyprus’ copper-rich landscape, is being prepared for publication.

I am currently developing research on the cultural value of metals and identity formation in the Roman Empire. In 2019, I was awarded seed corn funding from the University’s SURGE fund to undertake pilot research. This work was done in collaboration with the College of Engineering (Swansea) and the School of History, Archaeology and Religion (Cardiff) and involved analysis of copper-alloy artefacts housed in Swansea University’s Egypt Centre. This work is ongoing and will feed into a much larger interdisciplinary which will investigate 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • CLH3004 Ancient Cyprus

    This module will explore the dynamic culture and society of Ancient Cyprus, with particular attention paid to its Roman period. Consideration of defining geographical features of the island and its location in the Mediterranean Sea will introduce the study of ancient Cyprus. Next, the module will provide an overview of the island¿s Prehistoric, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods. Having `set the scene¿, the remaining teaching sessions will focus on the island¿s Roman period - the cultural history of which has been traditionally considered as obscure and uniform. While it has been thought that Cyprus pales in comparison to other well documented and urban concerns of Ancient Rome, it is an important case study for considering the themes of power, identity, and life in the Roman provinces in general because of its far-reaching economic connections and rich material culture. The approach of this module will be multi- and interdisciplinary with coins, art, inscriptions, architecture, literary sources, and archaeology being assessed.

Administrative Responsibilities

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

    2018 - Present

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee Member - College of Arts and Humanities

    2019 - Present