Attic Pelike by the Jena Painter, ca. 400 BCE, University of Exeter

Our research

Research in Classics and Ancient History at Exeter is rated 6th in the UK for research power in Classics1, with 75% of research classified as world-leading or internationally excellent2. The Department has a vigorous research culture, with international conferences, at least once a year, most of which lead to published volumes.

Research expertise

  • ancient and modern philosophy, especially ethics
  • classical art and archaeology
  • classics in the history of sexuality
  • comparative philology and linguistics
  • food in the ancient world
  • Greek and Roman epic, tragedy and comedy
  • Greek and Roman mythology, religion and magic
  • Greek and Roman social history, especially sexuality
  • Hellenistic history, especially the barbarian interface and the Greek culture of Asia Minor and dynastic studies
  • history of medicine in antiquity, especially Galen
  • later Greek literature, including Lucian, Athenaeus, ecphrasis
  • Latin literature
  • palaeography

Research centre

Centre for the study of Hellenistic and Romano-Greek Culture and Society

Supported by a £1.25 million Leverhulme grant, the Centre for Hellenistic and Romano-Greek Culture and Society is rapidly becoming internationally recognised for the study of the history and culture of the post-classical Greek world.

Centre for Connectivity in the Roman World

The Centre for Connectivity in the Roman World aims to examine in what ways connectivity contributed to the shaping of distinctive cultures, economies and societies across the breadth of the Roman world (and its immediate neighbours).

Research projects

Most staff research is based on individual research projects, many of which are externally funded. There are also clusters of research expertise enabling fruitful synergy between colleagues, and these provide a framework for much of the postgraduate research.

Research impact

The impact of our research benefits the larger community in many ways, in the UK and in other countries where our research is conducted.

Research students

Our postgraduates are a central part of the vigorous research culture in the Department. They have taken a leading role in setting up their own seminar series and reading groups, and have organised numerous conferences.  These include a successful inter-disciplinary symposium event bringing together researchers working on the classical world from across the university (July 2013), and the national annual postgraduate conferences in Ancient History (AMPAH 2006) and the Reception of the Ancient World (AMPRAW 2013). They have also organised conferences at Exeter on Women in Antiquity, the Seleukid Kingdom, Pollution and the Ancient City, and Tragic Fragments, resulting in the publication of F. McHardy, J. Robson, and D. Harvey (eds.), Lost Dramas of Classical Athens: Greek Tragic Fragments (University of Exeter Press, 2005) and V. Hope and E. Marshall (eds.), Death and Disease in the Ancient City (Routledge, 2000).

The Department journal Pegasus is currently edited by postgraduates and includes contributions by undergraduates and staff members.

Find out more about MPhil/Phd in Classics and Ancient History at Exeter.

*RAE 2008 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4*

1Times Higher Education research power ranking based on Research Excellence Framework 2014

2Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*