Dr Maria Pretzler
Associate Professor
Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology
Telephone: (01792) 602357
Room: Office - 210
Second Floor
James Callaghan
Singleton Campus

I did my undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at the university of Graz in Austria, followed by a D.Phil at Oxford, which was a detailed investigation of Book VIII (Arcadia) of Pausanias’ Description of Greece.

My research interests have developed from there:

• I continue to be fascinated by the small cities that made up most of the Greek world, and my current project on the Peloponnesian League focuses on the ways in which these small states influenced Greek history, and what impact major events had on them in turn.
• Pausanias also led me to ancient geography and travel writing, and research on various aspects of ancient approaches to the landscape, particularly memorial and religious landscapes. At the same time, I have also been involved in landscape archaeology, and I continue to benefit from parallels, connections and comparisons between ancient and modern approaches to landscapes.
• The culture and literature of Greeks in the heyday of the Roman Empire (the Second Sophistic) also represents a major interest. Apart from Pausanias, I have been doing work on Lucian, Aelius Aristeides, Lucian and Polyaenus.

Areas of Expertise

  • Ancient Greek History
  • Ancient Travel Writing
  • Ancient Geography
  • Interstate Relations in Ancient Greece
  • Peloponnesian League
  • Pausanias (Travel Guide to Ancient Greece)
  • Greek Culture and Society in the Roman Empire

Publications

  1. Philip, Alexander and Macedonia: Between Greek Virtue and Barbarian Pleasure. In E. Almagor & L. Maurice (Ed.), Of Ancient Virtues and Vices in Modern Popular Culture: Beauty, Bravery, Blood and Glory. (pp. 257-280). Leiden: Brill.
  2. Aineias and history: The purpose and Context of Historical Narrative in the Poliorketika. In M. Pretzler and N. Barley (Ed.), Brill’s Companion to Aineias Tacticus. (pp. 68-95). Leiden: Brill.
  3. ‘The polis falling apart: Aeneas Tacticus and stasis’. In M.Pretzler and N. Barley (Ed.), Brill’s Companion to Aineias Tacticus. (pp. 146-165). Leiden: Brill.
  4. From one connoisseur to another: Pausanias as Winckelmann's guide to analysing Greek art. Classical Receptions Journal 2(2), 197-218.
  5. Arcadia: Ethnicity and Politics in the fifth and fourth centuries in N. Luraghi, P. Funke (Eds.), The Politics of Ethnicity and the Crisis of the Peloponnesian League. In Harvard UP.

See more...

Teaching

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

    Dissertation in Ancient History or an approved Classical subject.

  • CL-M19 Being Greek under Rome: Greek literature and culture in the Imperial Period

    A seminar based module exploring the negotiation of key themes of Greek cultural identity under the rule of Rome in a series of literary texts of the period.

  • CL-M76 Explorers, Travel and Geography in the Ancient World

    This module provides a chance to explore a variety of ancient approaches to exploration, travel and geography. We investigate texts from the Odyssey to late antique pilgrimage accounts, and we shall encounter a wide range of genres, e.g. fictional adventure stories, explorers' accounts, ethnography, maps and geographical studies, travel guides and geographical accounts embedded in historical works. We discuss different ways in which travel experiences and landscapes can be depicted through writing; you will be able to discover how the ancients approached the world, both the familiar places around the Mediterranean and distant regions which were hardly known.

  • 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.

  • CLH2008 Myths and Society in the Greek World

    This module will give you a chance to study Greek myths where they are at home ¿ in Greek communities where people told these stories. We will investigate how mythical traditions developed, and what purposes they served: myths explained people¿s identity, their origins, their relationship with the gods and other people, their role in society, and their community¿s place in the world. The main focus of this module will be the study of myths in a local context, in the places where people kept telling these stories because they had a special meaning to them. During the module, you¿ll get the chance take a closer look at the mythical traditions of specific places. For this purpose, we shall delve into Pausanias¿ Description of Greece which collects many mythical stories in their local context, looking back at almost a thousand years of local traditions in different places. In fact, this module will take in accounts of mythical stories from the eighth century BC to the second century AD, and perhaps occasionally roam outside this period as well. During the semester, as we are looking at specific examples, we shall also consider fundamental questions with wider implications not just for the Greeks: what are myths, and do we still need such stories, or is this a specifically ancient phenomenon? What role did (do?) myths play in people¿s lives? How can we approach such stories in a scholarly way? We shall consider the many ways in which Greek myths come down to us, in literary texts and works of art; you will get a chance to consider how mythical traditions can come full circle: local stories are used to create influential literary works, and in turn influence how these myths are then told in a local context. Myths aren¿t just nice stories: this module will get you to investigate just how much more there is to the Greek mythical tradition, and how important mythology is to understanding the ancient world.

  • CLH215 Archaic Greece (Level 2)

    History of Greece and the Greek world from c. 800 BC to c.480 BC. We shall observe the emergence of the Greek city-states, the shaping of the Greek world through colonisation. The central concern of this module is the development of many aspects of Greek culture, including social organisation, political organisation, literature and philosophy, art, architecture and warfare. We shall also deal with the relations between the Greeks and their neighbours in the relevant period. The lectures introduce students to archaeological and literary evidence and offers a thorough introductuon to the methodological questions which arise from dealing with the extremely fragmentary information about this early period.

  • CLH3008 Myths and Society in the Greek World

    This module will give you a chance to study Greek myths where they are at home ¿ in Greek communities where people told these stories. We will investigate how mythical traditions developed, and what purposes they served: myths explained people¿s identity, their origins, their relationship with the gods and other people, their role in society, and their community¿s place in the world. The main focus of this module will be the study of myths in a local context, in the places where people kept telling these stories because they had a special meaning to them. During the module, you¿ll get the chance take a closer look at the mythical traditions of specific places. For this purpose, we shall delve into Pausanias¿ Description of Greece which collects many mythical stories in their local context, looking back at almost a thousand years of local traditions in different places. In fact, this module will take in accounts of mythical stories from the eighth century BC to the second century AD, and perhaps occasionally roam outside this period as well. During the semester, as we are looking at specific examples, we shall also consider fundamental questions with wider implications not just for the Greeks: what are myths, and do we still need such stories, or is this a specifically ancient phenomenon? What role did (do?) myths play in people¿s lives? How can we approach such stories in a scholarly way? We shall consider the many ways in which Greek myths come down to us, in literary texts and works of art; you will get a chance to consider how mythical traditions can come full circle: local stories are used to create influential literary works, and in turn influence how these myths are then told in a local context. Myths aren¿t just nice stories: this module will get you to investigate just how much more there is to the Greek mythical tradition, and how important mythology is to understanding the ancient world.

  • CLH393 Archaic Greece

    This module will examine the emergence of the Greek polis during the eigth century BC, and its development through the archaic period until the Persian invasions of the Greek mainland. It will consider some of the key political, religious and social structures and institutions, and draw from both historical and archaeological evidence.

  • CLH397 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.

  • 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.

Supervision

  • The representation of Persians in the ancient Greek novel«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ian Repath
  • Marriage in the Ancient Greek Novels (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ian Repath
  • From Boeotia to Achaea: The evolution of federal ideology in Greek Antiquity. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Mark Humphries