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Summary: Roman history; Roman urbanism; the emperor Augustus.
MSt, DPhil (Oxford)
My research focuses mainly on the relationship between the spatial organisation of Roman settlements and the needs and priorities of the communities which built them. This interest sprang from my D.Phil. thesis, which looked at the use of space on the edges of Roman cities, and is now available as a Routledge monograph entitled The Roman City and its Periphery: from Rome to Gaul. Since publishing this monograph I have continued to work on the organisation of built environments in the Roman world, including papers on the spatial distribution of temples and workshops and on the definition and significance of urban boundaries.
My work on Roman urbanism informs my classroom teaching, especially via my second- and third-year module, 'The City in the Roman world'. But I also teach Roman political history, including a module on the emperor Augustus and his legacy from antiquity to the modern day. This teaching has given rise to my current major research project: an exploration of changing responses to Augustus and of the phenomenon of anniversary commemorations, centring around the bimillennia of his birth on 23rd September 1938 and death on 19th August 2014. Full details of this project can be found on the Commemorating Augustus website.
I have always been interested in drawing explicit comparisons and contrasts between the ancient world and our own. This is inherent in my approach to ancient urban space, which regularly draws on theoretical perspectives from other disciplines (especially modern urban geography and economics), and is central to my work on the bimillennia of the emperor Augustus. A comparative approach helps me to understand the ancient world better, and to share that understanding with the general public - and this is the guiding principle of my blog, Penelope's Weavings and Unpickings.
I completed my first degree in Ancient History at the University of Bristol (1994-7), before moving to Christ Church, Oxford for my M.St. and D.Phil. (1997-2001). After finishing my post-graduate studies, I taught at the universities of Oxford, Warwick and Reading and Queen's University Belfast. I joined the department at Leeds in September 2006.
- (Forthcoming) 'Working together: clusters of artisans in the Roman city' in A. Wilson and M. Flohr, eds. Beyond Marginality: craftsmen, traders and the socioeconomic history of Roman urban communities (Oxford: OUP).
- (Forthcoming) 'Urban peripheries' in A. Cooley, ed. A Companion to Roman Italy (Oxford: Blackwell).
- (2013) 'Defining the city: the boundaries of Rome', in C. Holleran and A. Claridge, eds., A Companion to the City of Rome (Oxford: Blackwell).
- (2013) With S. Green, Animating Antiquity: Harryhausen and the Classical tradition (Open University). (Available online)
- (2013) 'The production centres: settlement hierarchies and spatial distribution' in M. Fulford and E. Durham, eds. Seeing Red: new economic and social perspectives on terra sigillata (London: Institute of Classical Studies).
- (2013) 'Temple architecture and urban boundaries in Gaul and Britain: two worlds or one?', in T. Kaizer, A. Leone, E. Thomas and R. Witcher (eds.), Cities and Gods (Leiden: Stichting Babesch).
- (2012) 'I am master of nothing: Imperium: Augustus and the story of Augustus on screen' in New Voices in Classical Reception Studies 7: 13-24. (Available online)
- (2011) 'Temples in late antique Gaul' in L. Lavan and M. Mulryan, eds. The Archaeology of Late Antique Paganism (Leiden: Brill): 165-193.
- (2007) The Roman City and its Periphery: from Rome to Gaul (London: Routledge).
- (2002) 'The provincial sanctuaries of the imperial cult at Lyon and Narbonne: examples of urban exclusion or social inclusion?', in Proceedings of the Symposium On Mediterranean Archaeology 2001, Liverpool (Oxford: BAR Int. Series 1040): 91-104.