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Epigraphy at Warwick

We are keen to encourage applications from postgraduates interested in pursuing research involving classical epigraphy. Several members of staff at Warwick are actively engaged in epigraphic research, whilst others also use epigraphy in their wider research contexts. We have particular expertise in the Roman world, both Latin West and Greek East, as well as Classical Greece.

Postgraduate training / Members of Staff / Research / Publications / Students

Postgraduate training

The department has a Taught MA programme [Ancient Visual and Material Culture], including streams incorporating the Postgraduate City of Rome course at the BSR [Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Rome], and postgraduate courses at the BSA [Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Greece] in which students have the opportunity to specialise in epigraphy. Our students are encouraged to join the British Epigraphy Society and to participate in the training offered by the Society.

Members of Staff

  • Prof Alison Cooley - works on Latin epigraphy in particular, focusing especially on Rome, Italy, and the western Roman empire. She has published an edition and commentary of the Res Gestae divi Augusti (CUP 2009), and The Cambridge Manual of Latin Epigraphy (CUP 2012), has edited several volumes of papers on epigraphic topics (The Epigraphic Landscape of Roman Italy (BICS suppl. 2000); The Afterlife of Inscriptions (BICS suppl. 2000); Becoming Roman, Writing Latin? (JRA suppl. 2002); Inventive Inscriptions: the Organization of Epigraphic Knowledge in

    the Nineteenth Century (Special issue of Journal of the History of Collections), jointly edited with Dan Orrells (2014). She was one of the team producing the last two quinquennial surveys of Roman inscriptions in Journal of Roman Studies (2007, 2012), and joined the team of Annee Epigraphique in 2013, to write annual reports on epigraphic finds in Roman Britain. Recent articles include 'From document to monument: inscribing Roman official documents in the Greek East' in Epigraphy and the Historical Sciences; 'Writing up the baths: reading monumental inscriptions in Roman baths', in Written Space in the Latin West (2013); 'Women beyond Rome: trend-setters or dedicated followers of fashion?' in Women and the Roman City in the Latin West (2013); ‘Paratextual perspectives upon the SC de Pisone patre’, in The Roman Paratext: Frame, Texts, Readers, ed. L. Jansen (2014). Another article on the Res Gestae forthcoming in CCG (2015) explores the Res Gestae in a similar light. She has revised for publication her conference paper: 'Multiple meanings in the sanctuary of the Magna Mater at Ostia', and is currently revising her paper 'The last days of Augustus'. She is also committed to making inscriptions available to non-linguists via her collaboration in LACTOR sourcebooks (The Age of Augustus; Tiberius to Nero) and Pompeii: a sourcebook (Routledge 2004), followed by a second edition (2013), Pompeii and Herculaneum: a sourcebook, and she is contributing articles to the ABC CLIO Encyclopedia of Conflict in Greece and Rome. She is currently focusing her energies upon the AHRC Latin inscriptions in the Ashmolean project. 

  • Dr Abigail Graham - studies the epigraphy of the Greek East, focusing especially on Ephesos and Aphrodisias. She has recently published an article in the American Journal of Archaeology, 117.3 (2013) 383-412 'The Word is Not Enough: A New Approach to Assessing Monumental Inscriptions. A Case Study from Roman Ephesos'. She leads the BSR postgraduate summer course in epigraphy, the next course due to take place in 2014.
  • Dr Michael Scott - works with literary, material, and epigraphic evidence from the archaic, classical, and hellenistic periods of Greek history, with a particular focus on Greek religion and Greek sanctuaries. He is currently working on a series of articles that look at the perception and mechanics of Greek sanctuaries in the archaic and classical periods, one of which examines how the placement of different types of inscriptions within sanctuaries both contributed to their meaning and purpose as well as impacting on the way in which visitors used and understand sacred space.
  • Dr David Fearn - incorporates epigraphy into his work on Greek lyric poetry and contexts for memorialization in archaic and classical Greece.
  • Dr Zahra Newby - is interested in the interaction of art and text, especially the juxtaposition of images and inscriptions in individual monuments or spaces. She is co-editor of Art and Inscriptions in the Ancient World (CUP 2007).
  • Dr Suzanne Frey-Kupper is part of the collaborative working group investigating with Jonathan Prag, Filippo Battistoni, Alessia DiMartino, Lorenzo Campagna and others the Taormina Financial Documents. She is focussing on coin denominations, metrology and aspects on finances arising from the inscriptions. The studies on these extraordinary documents from Hellenistic Sicily will be published in a volume of the OUP series of Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents.

Current research projects and collaborative work

  • Research project - 'Facilitating Access to Latin inscriptions in Britain's Oldest Public Museum through Scholarship and Technology', AHRC Research Grant, Oct 2013-Sep 2016. A collaborative project between the Dept of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick (led by Dr Alison Cooley as Principal Investigator), the Ashmolean Museum (Co-Investigator Dr Paul Roberts) and the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, University of Oxford (Co-Investigator, Dr Charles Crowther). For our latest news, read the project's blog: Reading, Writing, Romans.
  • Alison Cooley has joined the team of Année Epigraphique, and is preparing the annual survey of the epigraphy for the province of Britannia from 2013. She would be delighted to receive offprints/ information about relevant publications.

Alison Cooley is also joint series editor, with Prof. A.K. Bowman, of Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents (Oxford University Press). The series includes the following volumes:

David Fearn is currently investigating epigraphic and non-epigraphic means of memorializing athletic and other achievements in late archaic and early classical Greece, looking at crossovers between poetry and material culture in a diverse range of contexts. Building on his previous contextual studies of epinician poetry (Bacchylides: Politics, Performance, Poetic Tradition (2007); Aegina: Contexts for Choral Lyric Poetry (ed., 2010)), he is developing a broader view of the similarities and differences, tensions and complementarities, between material modes of commemoration, via inscriptions and sculpture, and non-material, orally delivered, poetic modes. A paper entitled 'Kleos v Stone? Lyric Poetry and Contexts for Memorialization' is published in the proceedings of the 2009 University of Manchester Literature and Epigraphy Conference, edited by Polly Low and Peter Liddel, Inscriptions and their uses in Greek and Latin Literature (OSAD series, 2013).

Recent publications in epigraphy

  • The Res Gestae divi Augusti was rightly dubbed ‘queen of inscriptions’ by Theodore Mommsen. A substantial new commentary on the inscription by Alison Cooley was published by CUP in May 2009. Listen to our podcast, 'The first emperor and the queen of inscriptions: Augustus in his own words'. The translation into English of the RGDA was included in a Turkish/English version in S. Mitchell, The Imperial Temple at Ankara and The Res Gestae of the Emperor Augustus, A Historical Guide (Turkish-English, 2008) and in K. Gorkay, S. Mitchell, M. Kadioglu, Roman Ancyra.
  • Delphi and Olympia: the spatial politics of panhellenism in the archaic and classical periods (Michael Scott) (Cambridge, 2010)
  • 'History and inscriptions, Rome' (A.E. Cooley), in The Oxford History of Historical Writing vol 1, eds A. Feldherr and G. Hardy (OUP, 2011) 244-64
  • Displaying lists of what is (not) on display: the uses of inventories in Greek sanctuaries' (Michael Scott) in M. Haysom and J. Wallensten (eds.), Current Approaches to Greek Religion (Athens, 2011) 239-52
  • ‘Commemorating the war dead of the Roman world’ (A.E. Cooley) in Cultures of Commemoration. War memorials, ancient and modern, (eds) P. Low, G.J. Oliver, P.J. Rhodes (Proceedings of the British Academy 160/ Oxford University Press, 2012) 61-86
  • ‘From document to monument: inscribing Roman official documents in the Greek East’ (A.E. Cooley), in J.K. Davies and J. Wilkes, eds, Epigraphy and the Historical Sciences (Proceedings of the British Academy 177/ Oxford University Press, 2012) 159-82
  • The Cambridge Manual of Latin Epigraphy by Alison Cooley (CUP, 2012) has two main aims. Firstly, to enable readers to appreciate both the potential and the limitations of inscriptions as historical source material, by considering in detail the diversity of epigraphic culture in the Roman world, and how this has been transmitted to the 21st century. Secondly, to provide students with guidance for deciphering inscriptions in their raw state and handling specialist epigraphic publications. This work has been completed thanks to a research leave grant from the AHRC in 2010.
  • 'Roman inscriptions 2006-2010' (Alison Cooley/ Benet Salway), Journal of Roman Studies 102 (2012) p.172-286.
  • Space and Society in the Greek and Roman worlds (M. Scott) (CUP, 2012) demonstrates the usefulness of spatial analysis by examining how spatial approaches to literary, material and epigraphic evidence can improve our understanding of a range of physical and metaphorical spaces across the Greek and Roman worlds.
  • 'Women beyond Rome: trend-setters or dedicated followers of fashion?' (Alison Cooley) in E. Hemelrijk and G. Woolf, eds, Women and the Roman City in the Latin West (Brill 2013) p.23-46.
  • ‘Writing up the baths: reading monumental inscriptions in Roman baths’, (Alison Cooley) in Written Space in the Latin West: 200 BC to AD 300, eds G. Sears, P. Keegan, R. Laurence (Bloomsbury, 2013) p.185-98.
  • Pompeii and Herculaneum: A Sourcebook (2nd edn) (Alison Cooley and M.G.L. Cooley) (Routledge 2013)
  • 'Paratextual perspectives on the senatus consultum de Cn. Pisone patre' (Alison Cooley), in L. Jansen, ed. Roman Paratexts (CUP, 2014)
  • ‘The emergence of epigraphy in the Kingdom of Naples’, (Alison Cooley) in A.E. Cooley and D. Orrells, eds, Inventive Inscriptions – the Organization of Epigraphic Knowledge in the Nineteenth Century (Special issue of Journal of the History of Collections 26.3, 2014) 337-354
Publications in press
  • ‘Paratextual readings of imperial discourse in the Res Gestae divi Augusti’ (Alison Cooley) CCGG
  • ‘Multiple meanings in the sanctuary of the Magna Mater at Ostia’ (Alison Cooley) in Lived Ancient Religions, eds J. Rupke, R. Raja, L. Weiss

Current postgraduates

  • Ghislaine van der Ploeg (PhD): Cult of Asclepius in the Roman world [poster presented at British Epigraphy Society in Nov. 2012, on The Emperor as Hiketes: Imperial Worship of Asclepius]
  • Alexander Peck (PhD): Roman concepts of patria
  • Stephanie Lane (MPhil/PhD): Literacy and Epigraphy in Britain from Roman to Mediaeval Times (1st-11th C.)
  • Joanna Kemp (MPhil/PhD): Perceptions and Interaction with the Edges of the Roman Empire from Claudius to Marcus Aurelius
  • James Currie (MPhil/PhD): Roman Sicily and the Transition from Republic to Empire

Departmental bursaries and university scholarships are available for research postgraduates.