We research the ways in which ancient individuals, groups and communities communicated ideas, view points and knowledge in order to persuade their contemporaries and succeeding generations, and how the ancient world has been communicated and understood in later historical periods.
We are particularly interested in communication across various media (public speech, literary texts, visual representations, coins and monumental inscriptions), which show the impact of persuasive strategies on the immediate and longer-term recipients, including the modern reception of the ancient world. Our reception specialists focus on projects which significantly develop our understanding of the ancient world through its later reception.
- Matteo Barbato focuses on the rhetorical framing of ideological, institutional and political aspects of Athenian democracy.
- Henriette van der Blom is a specialist in Roman oratory and rhetoric across the republican and imperial periods, and the founding director of the Network for Oratory and Politics.
- Leslie Brubaker has a particular interest in the rhetorical relationship between text and image, and the ways in which gender is communicated in the Byzantine period.
- Philip Burton works on the development of Christian Latin discourse and how modern novelists, poets, translators, and others have reinvented the ancient world.
- Hannah Cornwell focuses on the communicative aspects of peace, diplomacy and negotiations in the Roman world.
- Ailsa Hunt works, among other things, on the ancient meanings of central words and concepts and the ways in which modern (mis-)conceptions have influenced modern thinking about Roman religion.
- Gideon Nisbet is an expert in ancient epigrams and in classical reception in nineteenth century literature, in modern translations and in popular culture.
- Leire Olabarria works on the reception of ancient Egypt in some aspects of popular culture, such as heavy metal music and science fiction literature.
- Diana Spencer is particularly interested in language and etymology as expressions of and influences on experience and memory.
- Elena Theodorakopoulos works on poetic communication in the Roman republic and principate and the reception of classical culture and literature in modern film and literature.
- Dimitris Tziovas researches the modern reception of Greek antiquity and Byzantium across literary studies, critical theory, translation, film, diaspora and cultural studies.
- Barbato, M 2020, The Ideology of Democratic Athens: Institutions, Orators and the Mythical Past. New Approaches to Ancient Greek Institutional History, Edinburgh University Press.
- Barbato, M 2017, Using the past to shape the future: ancestors, institutions and ideology in Aeschin. 2.74-8. in E Franchi & G Proietti (eds), Conflict in communities. Forward-looking memories in Classical Athens. QUADERNI, vol. 7, Università degli Studi di Trento, Trento, pp. 213-253.
- van der Blom, H 2020, The reception of Octavian’s oratory and public communication in the imperial period. in F Pina Polo (ed.), The Triumviral Period: Civil War, Political Crisis and Socioeconomic Transformations. Libera Res Publica, Prensas de la Universidad de Zaragoza, pp. 249-79.
- van der Blom, H 2017, Ciceronian constructions of the oratorical past. Omnium Annalium Monumenta: Historical Writing and Historical Evidence in Republican Rome. Sandberg, K. & Smith, C. (eds.). Leiden: Brill, p. 234-56 (Historiography of Rome and its Empire; vol. 2).
- van der Blom, H 2016, Creating a great orator: The self-portrait and reception of Cicero the orator. Autorretratos: la creación de la imagen personal en la antigüedad. Marco Simón, F., Pina Polo, F. & Remesal Rodríguez, J. (eds.). Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona, p. 87-99
- van der Blom, H 2016, Oratory and Political Career in the Late Roman Republic. Cambridge University Press.
- Brubaker, L 2019, The Virgin at Daphni. in T Arentzen & M Cunningham (eds), The reception of the Virgin in Byzantium: Marian narratives in texts and images. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 120-148.
- Burton, P 2017, Sulpicius Severus' Vita Martini. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Burton, P 2015, "Essentially a Moral Problem": Robert Graves and the Politics of the plain Prose Translation. in A Gibson (ed.), Robert Graves and the classical tradition. Classical presences, Oxford University Press.
- Cornwell, H 2020, A place for peace in a time of war. Coins of the Roman revolution (49BC-AD14): evidence without hindsight. Burnett, A. & Powell, A. (eds.). Classical Press of Wales, pp. 123-144.
- Cornwell, H 2017, Pax and the Politics of Peace: Republic to Principate. Oxford Classical Monographs, Oxford University Press.
- Cornwell, H 2015, The King who would be Prefect: Authority and Identity in the Cottian Alps. The Journal of Roman Studies. 105, pp. 41-72.
- Hunt, A 2019, Servian Readings of Religion in the Georgics. in N Freer & B Xinyue (eds), Reflections on Vergil's Georgics. 1 edn, Bloomsbury Academic.
- Hunt, A 2019, Pagan Animism: a modern myth for a Green Age. in A Hunt & HF Marlow (eds), Ecology and Theology in the Ancient World. 1 edn, Bloomsbury Academic.
- Hunt, A 2016, Reviving Roman Religion: Sacred Trees in the Roman World. Cambridge Classical Studies, Cambridge University Press.
- Nisbet, G 2020, Epigrams from the Greek Anthology. The World's Classics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Nisbet, G 2015, Martial: Epigrams: With Parallel Latin Text. A new selection translated by Gideon Nisbet. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Nisbet, G 2018, Kenneth Rexroth: Greek Anthologist. in S Murnaghan & RM Rosen (eds), Hip Sublime: Beat Writers and the Classical Tradition. Ohio State University Press, pp. 184-209. <https://ohiostatepress.org/books/titles/9780814213551.html>
- Olabarria, L 2019, “When the land was milk and honey and the magic was strong and true”: Edward Said, ancient Egypt, and heavy metal. in K Fletcher & O Umurhan (eds), Classical antiquity in heavy metal music. 1 edn, Bloomsbury.
- Spencer, D 2019, Language and Authority in de Lingua Latina: Varro's Guide to Being Roman . Wisconsin Studies in Classics, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI.
- Theodorakopoulos, E & Cox, F (eds) 2018, Homer’s daughters: women’s responses to Homer in the twentieth century and beyond. Classical Presences, Oxford University Press.
- Theodorakopoulos, E 2019, 'Classical myth and literature in the prose and poetry of Laura Riding: ‘The ever-dissolving image of deceptively tranquil antiquity’', Synthesis, vol. 12 (2019).
- Tziovas, D 2016, 'Between tradition and appropriation mythical method and politics in the poetry of George Seferis and Yannis Ritsos', Classical Receptions Journal.
- Anti-political-establishment ideology in Athenian democracy (led by Matteo Barbato, funded by Leverhulme).
- Network for Oratory and Politics (led by Henriette van der Blom). This network has housed the Crisis of Rhetoric project (led by Henriette van der Blom and funded by the AHRC).
- Spaces for Diplomacy in the Roman World (led by Hannah Cornwell, funded by Leverhulme).
- Crisis Greece: Culture, Identity and the West (led by Dimitrios Tziovas, funded by Leverhulme).
- The cultural politics of the Greek crisis (led by Dimitrios Tziovas, funded by AHRC)
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