Professor of Ancient History
Professor of Ancient History
I have three main areas of research interests, though in fact I see them as interconnected and overlapping: (i) the economic, social and ecological history of classical antiquity, particularly trade, demography, urbanisation and agriculture (Trade in Classical Antiquity, 2007; The Roman Empire: roots of imperialism, 2010); (ii) the reception of antiquity in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century economic and social thought, especially the critiques of modernity developed by Marx and Nietzsche (Antiquity and Modernity, 2009) and the modern reception of Thucydides in historiography and political theory (AHRC-funded research project Thucydides: reception, reinterpretation and influence, 2009-13; Thucydides and the Idea of History, 2014); (iii) theoretical and philosophical approaches to historiography, including its narrative structures and rhetorical techniques (Theories, Models and Concepts in Ancient History, 2004).
At present I am working on a book on Karl Marx and antiquity for the OUP Classics in Theory series and another on Thucydides and modern political thought, as well as continuing to write articles on ancient economic history and the reception of Thucydides. I am an Einstein Visiting Fellow in Berlin, working with colleagues in the Freie Universitaet and the TOPOI Exzellenzcluster on a project on change and conceptions of change in fifth-century BCE Greece, and also involed with Bristol's Anticipation Research Group. In the longer term I am planning to develop projects on historicism and its limits, and to write a book on Christa Wolf's reception of antiquity.
Topics studied by my past and present research students include the city in Britain and Gaul in late antiquity, the nature of the economic crisis of the third century, mos maiorum in Livy's account of the Hannibalic War, the reception of Thucydides in 18th century France and in 20th century strategic studies, the image of Sparta in the thought of Montaigne, the influence of ancient plagues on modern perceptions of epidemic disease, and ancient cryptography. I would be happy to discuss potential PhD research on any aspect of ancient economic and social history, historiography and historical theory or the reception of antiquity, especially Thucydides.
I teach a wide range of different topics in ancient history, from the Roman Republic to Late Antiquity, as well as broader units on ancient economic and social history, ecology, and Thucydides; I have a particular focus on historical skills and methodology units. I have also taught on the history of early Christianity, the modern reception of classical literature, the development of ancient historiography and the relation of ideas of antiquity and modernity.
I blog on my various research interests at http://thesphinxblog.com, and can also be followed on Twitter @NevilleMorley.