Ancient History and Classical Languages

Why a PhD or Research Masters in Ancient History and Classical Languages at Newcastle?

Marguerite Johnson, Ancient History and Classical Languages SupervisorResearch in Ancient History and Classical Languages at the University of Newcastle (UON) covers a wide field of interest, but a particular focus is Roman History and Literature.

PhD and Masters by Research students will benefit from UON's emphasis on promoting a superior understanding of ancient culture by close reading of ancient texts, and applying contemporary techniques to analysis of all aspects of the ancient world.

The approach to the ancient world is multidisciplinary, and is intended to provide perspectives on the role played by the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome on the development of the modern world.

Subjects covered include the social and political life of ancient societies, classical literature and mythology, and its reception, as well as a limited amount of archaeology, with an emphasis on the shape of urban life. The discipline subscribes to the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and keeps abreast of contemporary developments in the archaeological field internationally.

Ancient History and Classical Languages at UON has particular strengths in the area of Alexander the Great and his successors, and late Republican and early Imperial Rome. Other significant highlights include Roman social history, ancient biography, gender and sexuality, and the reception of Classical culture.

What you can research

Research Proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • Roman History: later Republic, early Empire
  • Alexander and his successors
  • Suetonian biography
  • Gender and reception

Research methodologies

Modern study of the ancient world is at the forefront of advanced approaches to texts and images. Computer generated word searches and the use of virtual reality models were pioneered by Classical scholars. At UON researchers use these tools and continue to value some more traditional tools. Classical Reception and Ancient Historiography are highlights.

Find a supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Marguerite Johnson: Sappho, reception studies, ancient magic, Greek and Latin literature, gender and sexuality
  • Dr Elizabeth Baynham: Alexander and his successors
  • Dr Jane Bellemore: Caesar and early Imperial Rome; war in the Roman world
  • Mr Hugh Lindsay: Early Imperial Rome, Roman Social History, Suetonius and ancient biography, the Geography of Strabo
  • Mr Terence Ryan: Roman Republican History, ancient Sparta, Greek and Roman erotic poetry, the Celts in antiquity

How to apply for graduate research in Ancient History and Classical Languages

Current Graduate Studies in Ancient History and Classical Languages

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Ancient History and Classical Languages at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • National Identity, the Auteur and the Greek World on Film
  • Oral Tradition and Aeschylus: Structure and Meaning in the Persians
  • Marguerite Yourcenar: A Quest for Ataraxia; a Locus Amoenus Hindered by Absence and Presence
  • The Tyranny of the Dionysii and the External Influence of Power Over Syracuse in the 4th and 5th Centuries BC
  • The Portrayal and Implications of Feminine Ageing in Latin Literature

Graduate profile

Ancient History and Classical Languages PhD student Leanne Glass

PhD candidate Leanne Glass 

Ancient History and Classical Languages PhD student Leanne Glass has become an expert in digging up ancient drama and comparing it with the Hollywood blockbusters and art films of today. In fact, she has recently presented her research at the 14th Annual Postgraduate Symposium on the Performance of Ancient Drama at the University of London, the UK's Classics Association and Oxford's Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama... read more.