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


  1. Pretzler, M. Philip, Alexander and Macedonia: Between Greek Virtue and Barbarian Pleasure (Ed.), Of Ancient Virtues and Vices in Modern Popular Culture: Beauty, Bravery, Blood and Glory 257 280 Leiden Brill
  2. Pretzler, M. Aineias and history: The purpose and Context of Historical Narrative in the Poliorketika (Ed.), Brill’s Companion to Aineias Tacticus 68 95 Leiden Brill
  3. Pretzler, M. ‘The polis falling apart: Aeneas Tacticus and stasis’ (Ed.), Brill’s Companion to Aineias Tacticus 146 165 Leiden Brill
  4. Pretzler, M., Pretzler, M. From one connoisseur to another: Pausanias as Winckelmann's guide to analysing Greek art Classical Receptions Journal 2 2 197 218
  5. Pretzler, M. 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 (Ed.), Harvard UP

See more...


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

    Dissertation in Ancient History or an approved Classical subject.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • AIM«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» To examine the validity of the concept that the Megarian colonies in Sicily in the eighth to the fifth centuries BC inherited, shared and displayed a common identity inherited from their mother-city, Megara, establishing an identity subsequently passed on to later generations sharing the same familial root.«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Nigel Pollard
  • From Boeotia to Achaea: Ethnognesis and development of Koina in Greek Antiquity. (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Mark Humphries
  • The representation of Persians in the ancient Greek novel«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» (awarded 2019)

    Other supervisor: Dr Ian Repath