School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Classics & Ancient History Research

Research in Classics and Ancient History

We're committed to creating a vibrant and varied research environment. In recent years, we've achieved excellent scores in the Research Excellence Framework. We have been successful in attracting significant external funding.

Classics and Ancient History form a dynamic field of study that is diverse and wide-ranging. At Newcastle we examine the human experience, in all its brilliance and complexity, from the Late Bronze Age until the seventh century AD. Whilst our geographical focus is primarily the Graeco-Roman Mediterranean, the impact of Greek and Roman culture is also traced in territories as far flung as Egypt, Central Asia, and the far North of Britain.

Although highly varied, our research interests centre around the languages, history and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, whether approached via their literary, material or visual remains or a combination of all three. As well as using a wide range of evidence to investigate lived experience in the ancient past our research also traces the influence of past lives, literatures and societies in later historical periods.

Classics and Ancient History at Newcastle offers one of the most wide-ranging programmes in the country, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. We are a diverse and international community of researchers and teachers whose research interests and expertise encompass the classical world in its entirety: from early Greek poetry to late Roman law and philosophy; from Latin epic to Mediterranean mobility and identity; from classical rhetoric to slavery and the history of medicine; from Greek vase painting to Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic dynasts to the politics and culture at the time of Cicero and Julius Caesar; from ancient music to Greek and Roman religion; from Roman Egypt to the reception of Greek literature in the early modern period - and much more besides.

The holdings of the Great North Museum: Hancock, which is home to the Shefton Collection of Greek Art and Archaeology together with a large body of artefacts from Hadrian’s Wall, play a prominent role in our teaching, research and outreach activities. Our presence in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology also creates invaluable opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration resulting in a lively research culture. The research themes of Performance, Empires and After and the Writing of History form three distinctive axes of collaboration both within Classics and Ancient History, and with other subject areas.

Classics and Ancient History at Newcastle runs a weekly Research Seminar series with speakers invited from the UK and internationally, as well as Ancient History ‘Work-in-Progress’ seminars. We are very keen on international collaborations and we regularly organise and host research events.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Classics and ancient history at Newcastle received a very strong research rating in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. With an overall average of 3.01, three-quarters of our weighted scores (encompassing publications, impact and environment) reflect internationally excellent research, earning us a 12th place in the national ranking.

In terms of publications, our average rating of 3.05 belongs in the top 10 (joint 7th). More than 30% of our publications were given the highest score of 4*. This indicates research that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. For a national overview of the REF results in classics and ancient history, visit the Research Excellence Framework website.

We have a vibrant, international community of postgraduate research students, many of whom receive prestigious research funding, and we regularly host visiting research students from overseas.

External funding

Classics and Ancient History at Newcastle have been successful in attracting external funding for research in recent years from organisations such as:

Research in history and archaeology

Find out about the School's research in history and archaeology