Researchers at UCD


Philip De Souza

Senior Lecturer

School Of Classics
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168170


I was born in 1964 in Usk, South Wales, in a 16th century house, built partly with stones robbed from a 12th century castle, on the site of a 1st century Roman legionary fortress. Perhaps it was inevitable that as an undergraduate student I read Ancient and Medieval History at Royal Holloway College, University of London. I did an MA in Classics at the same college and completed my PhD on Piracy in the Ancient World from Minos to Mohammed at University College London in 1992, where my supervisor was Tim Cornell.

In 1989-90 I was Research Scholar in Ancient History at the University of Leicester. I was Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Classics at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill from 1990 until 2002, when I moved to UCD. I held a Margo Tytus Visiting Research Fellowship in Classics at the University of Cincinnati on 2006 and an IRCHSS Senior Research Fellowship in 2008-09.

When I was younger (and my knees were stronger) I was keen on volleyball, playing for Egham and Leicester. I enjoy both playing and listening to music, but my main hobbies are reading (particularly Stephen Saylor, Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont) and visiting archaeological sites and museums.

I am Welsh, my surname is Portuguese, and my grandmothers were a Clancy and an O'Shea.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2000.
Title: Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
Year: 2008.
Title: Senior Research Fellowship
Year: 2006.
Title: Visiting Research Fellowship


Committee : Royal Irish Academy Committee for Classics and Near Eastern Studies
Committee : Academic Council Commitee on Quality


Year 1986 Institution: University of London
Qualification: MA Subject:
Year 1985 Institution: University of London
Qualification: BA Subject:
Year 1993 Institution: University of London
Qualification: PhD Subject:


Classical Greek:

Outreach Activities

I make frequent appearances on the NewsTalk radio show "Talking" History hosted by Dr Patrick Geoghan.
Consultancy work on children's books
I have been a consultant on historical and archaeological books for children including:
The Ancient World: Greece1997, Wayland, Hove ISBN: 9780750220545; History Beneath Your Feet: Ancient Greece1999, Wayland, Hove ISBN: 9780750223607; Roman Diary Walker Books 2009 ISBN: 978-1844287376;Eyewitness Ancient Rome Dorling Kindersley 2010 ISBN:978-0756652203.
Interactive educational books and websites

I was the principal consultant for e.explore ancient greece (Dorling Kindersley 2006) and e.explore ancient rome (Dorling Kindersley 2007) which are part of a series of educational books published by Dorling Kindersley and linked to websites created with GoogleTM, the world's most popular search engine.Each book is keyed to a website Over 1,000 live and updated internet links give children all the latest information, from hundreds of fantastic downloadable pictures, videos, animations, virtual tours, quizzes, realtime-reports and more.They are linked to the UK National Curriculum, for projects, or just for fun, so homework need never be boring again.
For details see:



de Souza, P. (2014) La guerra del peloponneso. 431-404 a. C. Rome: Editrice Goriziana. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P. (autor), Jaén Sanchez, M. (traductor); (2011) Atenas contra Esparta: La guerra del Peloponeso. Madrid: Osprey Campañas. [Details]
de Souza, Philip; (2006) Die Beherrschung der Meere. Wie die Seefahrt die Menschheitsgeschichte prägte. München/Zürich: Piper. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2003) The Greek and Persian Wars 499-386 BC. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2003) Seefahrt und Zivilisation. Hamburg: Mare Buchverlag. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2002) The Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2001) Seafaring and Civilization: Maritime Perspectives on World History. London: Profile Books. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (1999) Piracy in the Graeco-Roman World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available Online [Details]
Langley, A. and de Souza, P.; (1996) The Roman News. London & New York: Walker Books, UK & Candlewick Press USA. Available Online [Details]

Book Chapters

Philip de Souza (2015) 'Polybius on Naval Warfare' In: Howe, T., Garvin, E. Wrightson, G (eds). Greece, Macedon, and Persia. Oxford: Oxbow Books. , pp.181-197 [Details]
de Souza, Philip (2014) 'Piracy in Classical Antiquity: the Origins and Evolution of the Concept' In: Stefan Amirell, Leos Muller (eds). Persistent Piracy: Maritime Violence and State Formation in Global Historical Perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan. , pp.24-50 [Details]
Philip de Souza (2014) 'War, Piracy and Politics in the Mediterranean 500-30 BC' In: A. Alvarez-Ossorio Rivas, E. Ferrer Albelda, E. Garcia Vargas (eds). Pirateria y seguridad maritima en el Mediterraneo Antiguo. Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla. , pp.31-49 [Details]
Philip de Souza (2013) 'War at Sea' In: Brian Campbell and LAwrence A. Tritle (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. , pp.369-394 Available Online [Details]
Philip de Souza (2013) 'Who are you calling pirates?' In: Michael C. Hoff and Rhys F. Townsend (eds). Rough Cilicia: New Historical and Archaeological Approaches. Oxford: Oxbow Books. , pp.43-54 Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2012) 'Pirates and Politics in the Roman World' In: V. Grieb, S. Prühlen & S. Todt (eds). Piraterie von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Beiheft der Historische Mitteilungen der Ranke-Gesellschaft Band 81. Stuttgart: Steiner-Verlag. , pp.47-73 [Details]
de Souza, P; (2009) 'Raids on the Coast of Attica' In: Sekunda, Nicholas (eds). Ergasteria: works in Honour of John Ellis Jones on his 80th Birthday. Gdansk: Institute of Archaeology, Gdansk University. , pp.82-93 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2008) 'Parta victoriis pax: Roman Emperors as Peacemakers' In: de Souza, P and France, J (eds). War and Peace in Ancient and Medieval History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. , pp.76-106 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2008) 'Greek Warfare and Fortifications' In: Oleson, J.P (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2007) 'Naval Battles' In: Sabin, P., van Wees, H. and Whitby, M (eds). The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare volume I: Greece, the Hellenistic World and the Rise of Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge Unviersity Press. , pp.434-447 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2007) 'Hellenistic and Roman Republican Naval Forces' In: Sabin, P., van Wees, H. and Whitby, M (eds). The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare, Volume I: Greece, the Hellenistic World and the Rise of Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress. , pp.357-367 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2007) 'Rome's contribution to the development of piracy' In: Hohlfelder, R (eds). The Maritime World of Ancient Rome. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. , pp.69-94 Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2007) 'Sieges' In: Sabin, P., van Wees, H. and Whitby, M (eds). The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare volume I: Greece, the Hellenistic World and the Rise of Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. , pp.447-459 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2005) 'Salamis 480 BC' In: Black, J (eds). The Seventy Great Battles of All Time. London: Thames and Hudson. , pp.23-26 Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2005) 'Actium 31 BC' In: Black, J (eds). The Seventy Great Battles of All Time. London: Thames and Hudson. , pp.38-41 Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2002) 'Beyond the Horizon: locating the enemy in ancient naval warfare' In: Andreau, J. and Virlouvet, C (eds). L¿information et la mer dans le monde antique. Rome: Ecole Française de Rome. , pp.69-92 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (1998) 'Late Hellenistic Crete and the Roman Conquest' In: Cavanagh, W.G. and Curtis, M (eds). Post Minoan Crete. British School at Athens Studies 2. London: British School at Athens. , pp.112-116 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (1998) 'Towards Thalassocracy: Archaic Greek Naval Developments' In: Fisher, N. and van Wees, H (eds). Archaic Greece: New Approaches and New Evidence. London: Duckworth. , pp.271-293 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (1996) '`They are the enemies of all mankind'. Justifying Roman Imperialism in the Late Republic' In: Webster, J. and Cooper, N (eds). Roman Imperialism: Post-Colonial Perspectives. Leicester: University of Leicester. , pp.125-133 [Details]
de Souza, P.; (1995) 'Greek Piracy' In: Powell, A (eds). The Greek World. London: Routledge. , pp.179-198 [Details]

Edited Books

Philip de Souza & John France (Ed.). (2008) War and Peace in Ancient and Medieval History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available Online [Details]
Philip de Souza (Ed.). (2008) The Ancient World at War: a global history. London: Thames and Hudson. Available Online [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

de Souza, P. (2013) 'Xenophon on Naval Warfare'. Revue des Études Militaires Anciennes, 6 :53-62. [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2011) 'War, Slavery and Empire in Roman Imperial Iconography'. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, 54 (1):31-62. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2001) 'WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN PORTS IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE FIRST CENTURY BC TO SIXTH CENTURY AD'. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 10 (1 & 2):229-254. Available Online [Details]
de Souza, P.; (1997) 'Romans and Pirates in a Late Hellenistic Oracle from Pamphylia'. Classical Quarterly 1907-2001, 47 (2):477-81. Available Online [Details]

Other Journals

Philip de Souza (2013) 'Pirates of Cilicia' Actual Archaeology Magazine Spring 2013 (5) :98-113. [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2001) 'Ancient Rome and the Pirates' History Today 51 (7) :48-53. Available Online [Details]

Review Articles

de Souza, P.; (2001) Ancient warfare: general. Chicago: Review Articles [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2001) Greece, ancient: Mycenaean/Homeric warfare, 1600-600 BC. Chicago: Review Articles [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2001) Greece, ancient: Hellenistic and Macedonian warfare 400-200 BC. Chicago: Review Articles [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2001) Greece, ancient: Peloponnesian Wars 480-404 BC. Chicago: Review Articles [Details]
de Souza, P.; (2001) Greece, ancient: Persian Wars 499-448 BC. Chicago: Review Articles [Details]


Research Interests

My main research areas are warfare, seafaring and society in Classical Antiquity. I have published a book on Piracy in the Graeco-Roman World (Cambridge 1999; Polish translation 2008), plus many articles and chapters on aspects of ancient piracy. I am also contributing articles on "Menschenraub" and "Piraterie" to the online Handwörterbuch der antiken Sklaverei, ed. H. Heinen. My book Seafaring and Civilization: Maritime Perspectives on World History was published by Profile Books in 2001, with German editions in 2003 & 2006 and a Chinese (Mandarin) edition in 2014.

I am currently completing on a monograph on Ancient Naval Warfare for Routledge. I was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences for the academic year 2008-09 to work on this project. It will be the first major work on the subject since 1937. I have presented papers on this research at seminars and conferences in Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Spain and the USA. I have published articles and chapters on various aspects of Greek and Roman warfare including chapters on Hellenistic and Roman Republican navies, naval warfare and sieges in the Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare, edited by P. Sabin, H. van Wees & M. Whitby (Cambridge 2007), and a chapter on war at sea for the Oxford Handbook of Classical Warfare, edited by Brian Campbell and Lawrence Tritle (New York and Oxford 2013).

I am editing, with Professors Robert Hohlfelder (University of Colorado, Boulder) and Boris Rankov (Royal Holloway, University of London) The Oxford Handbook of Seafaring in the Classical World, to be published by Oxford University Press. This multi-authored volume will present the latest research on the subject.

 I am also one of four period editors for an international research project called Océanides. The aim of this project is to assess the influence of the sea on human history. The project is based at the École Militaire Paris. The general editor is Professor Christian Buchet and the other period editors are Professor Michel Balard, Professor Gérard Le Bouédec and Professor Nicholas Rodger.

The next phase of my research and publication on ancient warfare will be a monograph entitled: Warfare in the Ancient World: A Social and Cultural History, to be published by Blackwell. This innovative book will utilize a wide range of textual and material evidence to explore its subject through a number of case studies, ranging in time from Archaic Greece to Late Antiquity. I have published a books on The Peloponnesian War (Oxford, 2002; Spanish translation 2011) and The Greek and Persian Wars (Oxford, 2003). These two works draw on textual and visual evidence to combine overviews of the political and military history with case studies of the social history of Greek warfare. I contributed a chapter on Greek warfare and fortification to the Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World, edited by John P. Oleson (Oxford 2008) and have published several articles and chapters on Roman warfare.

With Professor John France of Swansea University I edited a volume of papers on the subject of  War and Peace in Ancient and Medieval History, Cambridge University Press, 2008. I have also edited an illustrated volume of essays by leading historians and archaeologists on The Ancient World at War, Thames & Hudson, 2008, which has been translated into German, Italian and Spanish.

I am a member of the UCD Centre for War Studies and the UCD Humanities Institute.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Association Oceanides
Title : Océanides
Start Date / End Date : 07-OCT-13 / 06-OCT-17
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Clio on the Tiber. Myth and History in Early Roman Historiography
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-14 / 30-SEP-16
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Classical Museum Coins Database Project
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-12 / 31-JAN-14
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Celtic Classics Conference Bordeaux 2012 - panel and paper
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-12 / 31-OCT-13
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Title : Infantry Warfare in Classical Greece
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-11 / 30-SEP-14
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : APA/AIA Conference 2011
Start Date / End Date : 17-MAY-10 / 16-NOV-11
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Conference 1200 BC: Climate, Catastrophe, War & Cultural Change
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-07 / 01-DEC-08

Recent Postgraduates

For the MA in Classics I teach
GRC 40010 Warfare and Society in the Ancient World
I am the Research co-ordinator for the School of Classics.

I am the principal supervisor of three PhD students:
Eoghan Finn, who is working on non-legionary troops in Roman imperial armies
Xu Hong, who is working on the Foreign Policy of Philip V of Macedon 
Peter Myler, who is working on Ancient Greek Infantry Warfare

Previous PhD students include:
Aideen Carty, who worked on Polycrates of Samos
Tom Donaghy, who worked on Horse Breeds and Breeding in the Graeco-Persian World
Sonya Nevin, who worked on Ancient Greek Military Ethics
Pamela Marin who worked on Cato the Younger, Myth and Reality
My main research areas are warfare and society and maritime history in Classical Antiquity. I welcome enquiries from potential research students who would like to work in these area, or related aspects of Greek and Roman history.

Current Postgraduate Students

Xu Hong, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Eoghan Finn, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor


Teaching Philosophy

My aim is to enable students to improve their capacity to attain the knowledge, academic skills and intellectual maturity to evaluate and challenge received wisdom in sophisticated and meaningful ways, and to communicate their ideas clearly and persuasively, with the support of appropriate evidence.

Enhancement of Teaching

My BA modules are designed so that successful completion of the assessments requires reading, synthesis and evaluation of modern scholarship that emphasizes evidence-based conclusions, but I place increased emphasis on direct evaluation and interpretation of ancient evidence (textual, artistic, archaeological), according to the level of the course. This emphasis encourages the development of key historical and intellectual skills, discourages over-dependence on secondary works and minimises problems of plagiarism. The teaching patterns are designed to provide examples of, and practice at, the ways in which evidence is selected, analysed and evaluated, so that students can acquire sufficient knowledge and confidence to make their own judgements. I have reduced the total number of assessments in my modules and limited the duration and frequency of formal exams to adjust to the strictures of the UCD Modular Degree structures, and to deal with recurring problems of assessment overload and student "cramming". I have diversified the types of assessments to stimulate intellectual engagement and the development of a variety of research, analysis and communication skills.

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

In line with a recent curriculum review I have designed and developed my portfolio of undergraduate modules to introduce students to aspects of ancient history that equip them for continuing study, both in terms of subject matter and methodologies, within the BA degree subjects taught by the School of Classics. GRC10030 Ancient Rome: an Introduction ¿ basic Roman history and culture; GRC20010 Alexander and his Successors ¿ an important period of ancient history approached through varied types of source material; GRC30070 Family Life in Ancient Greece ¿ detailed study of social history through close analysis and critical evaluation of complex literary, artistic and archaeological evidence. LAT30150 In Catilinam 1 - Latin political rhetoric. I have designed two new UG project modules with assessment modes that help students develop effective academic, intellectual and communications skills for future study and career development. In GRC30170 Classics Research Project 1 students must prepare an annotated bibliography, work up a research proposal and give a presentation on a proposed project. GRC30180 Classics Research Project 2, involves carrying out the research, with academic supervisions and is assessed by a 6-8,000 word report. My MA Classics module GRC40030 Warfare and Society regularly includes PhD research students in seminar classes, both to encourage the highest possible levels in discussion and written work, and to expose students to new ideas and methods in research. The content of this module is student-led, with individual students required to select their own research topic, on which they lead a seminar discussion, make a presentation and write a lengthy essay. They also select an example of an ancient source (text/image/object) and write a critical commentary on its value as historical evidence. This encourages independent research, critical analysis and evaluation, and diversity of approaches.

Developing as a Teacher

I have made use of UCD staff development courses on Powerpoint, which I now use for all undergraduate lectures and some postgraduate teaching, and Blackboard, which I use extensively in my undergraduate teaching. In 2007 I participated in a UCD Teaching & Learning workshop on course evaluation and student feedback which enabled me to make significant improvements in the ways that I obtained feedback from students on my modules to facilitate further enhancements, although recent centralisation of student evaluations has limited the effectiveness of my methods. I have made considerable use of knowledge and experience gained from Quality Review work in both the UK and Ireland and external examining in the UK to introduce changes and innovations into the Classics curriculum. This includes effective ways of assessing seminars and tutorials, appropriate amounts and types of source material for small classes and the articulation of aims, objectives and assessments to students.

Innovation & Leadership

I regularly review and modify the content and structure of all my taught courses.


Internal Collaborators

Dr Alan Peatfield, School of Archaeology
Dr Joanna Day, School of Classics
Dr John B. Howard, UCD Librarian

External Collaborators

Professor Robert Hohlfelder, Department of History, University of Colorado, Boulder
Professor Boris Rankov, Department of Classics, Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Christian Buchet, Institut Catholique, Paris
Professor Gérard Le Bouédec, CNRS
Professor Nicholas Rodger, Oxford University 
Professor Michel Balard, Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne