Staff Research

We all engage in different types of research, both within the discipline of Classics and beyond, with colleagues from other disciplines. Here are some of our current projects:

Research Groups:

KYKNOS is the Swansea and Lampeter Centre for Research on the Narrative Literatures of the Ancient World. Ian Repath is the current Chair of Kyknos. Other members of staff who take part in research activities are Fritz-Gregor Herrmann, Mark Humphries, and Maria Pretzler. The website is

OLCAP is the research group for object and landscape centred approaches to the past. The group’s core aim is to promote and support research, teaching, and training that falls broadly in the fields of material culture studies and landscape, especially where these relate to the ancient world. There are three main, related strands of OLCAP’s mission: Research, pedagogy, training and employability. Ersin Hussein and Christian Knoblauch are the joint founders and directors of the group. You can find out more about OLCAP on their website:

Individual Staff Research:

Dr Joanne Berry researches Roman social history, specifically regarding urban life, and is our resident expert on Pompeii. She founded Blogging Pompeii, a news and discussion site for Pompeii and the archaeological sites of the Bay of Naples, see

Dr Ian Goh is currently researching the family history of the gens Cornelia, whose most famous members, Scipio Africanus and Scipio Aemilianus, were prominent in Africa, focusing especially on their generational response to failure as a Republican trope. He is also working on Roman food and bodily functions such as vomiting.

Dr Stephen Harrison’s work explores the empires of the Achaemenid kings of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Seleucids. He is particularly interested in kingship, and how the rulers of these multi-ethnic kingdoms sought to ensure that people from very different backgrounds could live side-by-side in peace.

Dr Fritz-Gregor Herrmann’s area of research is Ancient Philosophy and Literature, with a focus on Plato, Greek tragedy and Thucydides. His special interest is the relationship between words and ideas, and the way in which tradition and innovation in language influence the way thoughts are developed, formulated, expressed and presented. He is currently working on conceptualisations of decision-making in early Greek thought and on continuities and differences between the political psychologies of Thucydides and Plato.

Professor Mark Humphries is a general editor, with Professor Gillian Clark (University of Bristol) and Dr Mary Whitby (University of Oxford), of the series Translated Texts for Historians (Liverpool University Press), which publishes scholarly translations of and commentaries on texts from Late Antiquity (AD300-800), see He is also a joint editor, with Professor Oliver Nicholson (University of Minnesota) of the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, and is a also a member of the international advisory board for the Irish Theological Quarterly.

Dr Ersin Hussein’s research primarily focuses on local identity formation in the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean, notably in Roman Cyprus. She is currently developing research on metals and identity formation in antiquity (particularly on copper) and aims to explore the impact of metals on communities from antiquity to the present day.

Dr Christian Knoblauch is a specialist in the archaeology of ancient Egypt and Nubia. He is particularly interested in using material culture to explore broader cultural aspects, for example, colonial relations, shifting perceptions of the dead, or the relationship of material cultural boundaries to social groups within the Egyptian Nile Valley. He is an assistant director of the University of Michigan Abydos Middle Cemetery Project and he co-directs with Laurel Bestock (Brown University) the Uronarti Regional Archaeological Project. The focus of the latter work is the wonderful Middle Kingdom fortress on the island of Uronarti.

At present Professor Nigel Pollard is primarily working on a study of protection, damage and reception of archaeological sites and monuments in the Second World War, including the work of the Allied Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Sub-Commission (the ‘Monuments Men’), and as a board member of the UK National Committee of the Blue Shield, engages with governments, NGOs and military personnel to promote the protection of cultural sites in conflicts and natural disasters. He has also launched his blog ( containing images of damaged and endangered sites in Syria.

Dr Maria Pretzler is fascinated by the small cities that made up most of the Greek world, and her 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 her 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, she has also been involved in landscape archaeology, and she continues 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, she has been doing work on Lucian, Aelius Aristeides, Lucian and Polyaenus.

Dr Troy Sagrillo is a member of the International Association of Egyptologists, München, Germany; the Egyptian Exploration Society, London, UK; the American Research Center in Egypt, Cairo, Egypt; and the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, Toronto, Canada.