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Professor Barbara Borg



Extension: 4219

Telephone: 01392 724219


Professor Barbara Borg

My field of teaching and research is Classical Archaeology, that is, the study of 'art' and archaeology of the Greeks and Romans.

I contribute to the understanding of the so-called Classical civilisations and their spheres of influence by focussing on visual and material culture as a source of information, thus supplementing the predominantly text-based disciplines of Ancient History and Classics. These sources provide insights into aspects of life, and groups in society, not covered by texts, or treated by their authors in a very idiosyncratic way. My teaching aims at providing the skills and techniques necessary to exploit these sources for anthropological and social history, and covers a broad range of subjects from archaic Greece to the later Roman Empire.

My research is characterised by an interdisciplinary and contextual approach, and focuses on four major fields: (1) The ideologies and value systems of the Romans as they are expressed through images (especially portraiture and funerary art), architecture, and epigraphy; (2) The language and 'rhetoric' of Greek and Roman images and the relationship between image and text; (3) Inter-cultural relationships, in particular the multi-cultural society of Roman Egypt; (4) Geo-archaeology, in particular the study of the provenance of marble, contributing to an understanding of ancient economies.

My latest project is a study of tombs and burial customs in Rome, which are an exquisite source of information for social history. A book on the tombs of the third century will come out in September 2013: Crisis and Ambition: Tombs and burial customs in third-century CE Rome (OUP).

I am now working on a book on second-century CE Roman tombs, and am editing a Blackwell’s Companion to Roman Art.

Among my previous publications, there are many German ones, but the following English publications may give an idea of my work and scholarly approach:

B.E. Borg (ed.), Paideia: The World of the Second Sophistic (Berlin 2004); my contribution "Glamorous intellectuals: Portraits of pepaideumenoi in the second and third centuries AD" pp. 157-178.

Who cares about Athenian identity? Athens in the first century BCE, in: T.A. Schmitz – N. Wiater (edd.), The struggle for identity. Greeks and their past in the first century BC (Stuttgart 2011) 213-34.

Epigrams, art and epic: The ‘Chest of Kypselos’, in: M. Baumbach – A. Petrovic – I. Petrovic (edd.), Archaic and Classical Greek Epigram. Papers of a conference on the archaic and classical epigram held in April 2005 in Giessen (Cambridge University Press, 2010) 81-99.

'The History of Apollo's Temple at Didyma, as told by Marble Analyses and Historical Sources', in: L. Lazzarini (ed.), Interdisciplinary studies on ancient stone. ASMOSIA VI; proceedings of the sixth international conference of the Association for the Study of Marble and Other Stones in Antiquity, Venice, June 15-18 2000 (Venice 2003) 271-78 (with G. Borg).

I have been the recipient of several funded visiting fellowships: Spring Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Malibu CA; Senior Onassis Fellow at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; and Hugh Last Fellow, British School at Rome. I am a member of an International Network for the Study of Late Antiquity, and of the Leibniz Gruppe zum Nachleben der Antike. I am also a research associate at the Waterloo Hellenistic Centre.