Photo of Professor Richard Flower

Professor Richard Flower

Associate Professor in Classics and Late Antiquity


01392 724201

My research interests range across the Roman, late Roman and early medieval periods, although I specialise in the role of invective and abuse in all forms of politics and the formation of authoritative knowledge in late antiquity. This includes working on a number of early Christian writings that have traditionally been seen as part of Patristics.

Having spent several years looking at polemic in the political culture of the later Roman empire, I am currently pursuing a project examining the growth of late-antique heresiology in the context of classical notions of the ordering of knowledge. During 2015-16, I held an AHRC Early Career Fellowship entitled Cataloguing Damnation: The Birth of Scientific Heresiology in Late Antiquity, which allowed me to make substantial progress with the writing of a monograph on this subject. I am also currently editing the Cambridge Companion to Christian Heresy and, together with Professor Morwenna Ludlow, a volume entitled Rhetoric and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity, which results from a conference held at Exeter in 2015.

As part of my AHRC project, I started recording a series of interviews with academics about surprising and unfamiliar aspects of the ancient world, which are available to listen to as podcasts. Even though my Fellowship has finished, I am continuing to record more of these interviews.

If you're a final-year undergraduate or a potential applicant student considering doing an MA or PhD dissertation on a late-antique topic (or anything else Roman that sounds fun), then please send me an email and I'll be happy to discuss your ideas with you.



Originally from Sheffield, I did my BA, MPhil and PhD at Clare College, Cambridge. After I finally stopped being a student in 2007, I took up a Research Fellowship at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and then a Temporary Lectureship at Sheffield, before coming to Exeter in 2012.