Ben Salisbury

Ben Salisbury

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

Title of thesis: Before Public Opinion: The Role of Tribunes of the Plebs in Creating, Manipulating, and Responding to Popular Sentiment, c. 70 - 49 BC

Supervisor: Dr Henriette van der Blom and Dr Hannah Cornwell 


  • BA (Hons) Ancient History, First Class – University of Manchester
  • MA Classics and Ancient History, Distinction – University of Manchester


I began an undergraduate degree in Ancient History at the University of Manchester in 2013 and graduated (First Class) in 2016. I remained at the University of Manchester for my Masters degree in Classics & Ancient History (Distinction), which I began in 2016 and finished in 2017. From September 2017 - January 2018, I worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the same institution, teaching on the level 3 module: The Early Roman Republic, alongside my supervisor Dr Peter Morton. I received my Midlands3Cities DTP award in the summer of 2018 and have now taken up my place at the University of Birmingham on a PhD Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology FT course.

Doctoral research


My project examines the political dialogue between the Roman electorate and the socio-political elite (tribunes of the plebs), who were elected to act in accordance with their will. I focus on the basic wants, needs, and emotions of the masses at Rome in order to identify and trace the process through which shared or ‘public’ opinions may have developed. The principal aim is to further the idea that the populace at Rome, both as a whole and as subsections, held common desires, and that these people sought to engage with their ‘representatives’, the tribunes of the plebs, to attain a legislative response. My other research interests include Roman Republican history, Roman Imperial history, Classical historiography, Classical Latin, Political Science.  

Other activities


  • Specialist Editor, Rosetta Journal
  • Social Media Coordinator, New Classicists


  • Salisbury, B. (2019), 'The Status of Plebiscita 494-287', New Classicists, 1, pp. 41-58.


  • (2019), 'Public Opinion in the Late Roman Republic: Public Spirit, Emotional Appeals, and Collective Decision Making', Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History, Cambridge.
  • (2019), 'Reconsidering the Language of Popular Public Opinion in the Late Roman Republic', The Popular in Classical Antiquity, University of Pennsylvania. 
  • (2018), 'For the Many (and the Few): The place of the lex Gabinia de bello piratico and the lex Manilia in studying popular sentiment', Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History, Birkbeck University of London.