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Staff Research Interests

Staff Research Interests

Martin Brady, PhD (Bristol):

My PhD was on the relationship between's Homer's epics and the poetry of Ovid, and more generallyI am interested in the processes of poetic influence and transmission, particularly in the epic genre, and with a particular interest in Homer, Ovid and Lucan. I am also interested in the role Classical texts and themes play in post-Classical times, particularly Oscar Wilde (whose style is comparable to Ovid's) and more recently in the ways the Classical world is represented in contemporary popular culture.


I would be willing to supervise students in the following areas: Latin epic poetry, particularly Ovid and Lucan, and especially projects with an interest in intertextuality/transmission of traditions. Reception projects relating to Oscar Wilde, and to classical reception in contemporary culture.

Jo Day, PhD (TCD):

My research interests are focused chronologically and geographically on the Aegean Bronze Age, although I explore a number of different themes within this field. Much of my work embraces a multisensory approach to the past, which is closely linked to my interests in the production and consumption of food and of perfumed products in the ancient world. I continue to research human-plant interaction too (the focus of my PhD), especially as manifest in iconography. I am actively involved in archaeological fieldwork in Crete and currently working on publishing the Early Minoan ceramics from the site of Priniatikos Pyrgos, as well as collaborating with the UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture on experiments in early firing technology. As Curator of the UCD Classical Museum, I also oversee research and publication of the collection. 

Select Publications: 

  • The Routledge Handbook of Sensory Archaeology. London: Routledge. Co-edited with Robin Skeates (forthcoming 2019).
  • "Seeing is (not) believing: visual and non-visual interpretations of Aegean Bronze Age frescoes", in The Multisensory Image from Antiquity to the Renaissance, ed. H. Hunter Crawley and E. O'Brien, pp. 25-45. London: Routledge (2019).
  • “Scents of place and colours of smell: fragranced entertainment in ancient Rome,” in Senses of the Empire: Multisensory Approaches to Roman Culture, ed. E. Betts, pp. 176-192. London: Routledge (2017).
  • “Life and death of a Bronze Age house: excavation of Early Minoan I levels at Priniatikos Pyrgos," American Journal of Archaeology 118, pp. 307-358Co-author with B. Molloy, S. Bridgford, T. Carter, V. Issakidou, G. Kotzamani, E. Nodarou, P. Westlake, E. Larsson, E. Bates (2014)
  • “Botany meets archaeology: people and plants in the past,” Journal of Experimental Botany 64, S1, pp. 1-12 (2013).


I would be willing to supervise research students working on Aegean Bronze Age and Greek archaeology, sensory approaches to the past, ancient food and foodways, human-plant interaction in the past, and ceramics (especially technological aspects of production and Early Bronze Age material).

Helen Dixon, PhD (Cantab):

Transmission and reception of Latin literature (especially in the fifteenth-century), Latin palaeography, history of classical scholarship. 

Aude Doody, PhD (Cantab):

My research focuses on Roman writing about nature and the environment. I work on Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, and its later reception as an encyclopedia. I’ve also published on writing about agriculture by Virgil, Varro, Cato, and Columella, and co-edited volumes on technical, medical and scientific literature in classical antiquity. My work is concerned with scholarship and tradition, the uses of genre, and the construction of authority in classical texts. I’m interested in how knowledge about the natural world is created and passed on through written texts, and the cultures of reading and writing that support that work. I’m currently working on a new book about Pliny the Elder.

Select Publications:

  • "The Authority of Writing in Varro’s De re rustica." In König, J. and Woolf, G. (eds.) Authority and Expertise in Ancient Scientific Culture. Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • With Sabine Föllinger and Liba Taub. "Structures and Strategies in Ancient Greek and Roman Technical Writing: An Introduction." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 43, no. 2 (2012): 233-236.
  • Pliny's Encyclopedia: the Reception of the Natural History. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • "Pliny's Natural History: Enkuklios Paideia and the Ancient Encyclopedia." Journal of the History of Ideas 70, no. 1 (2009): 1-21.
  • "Virgil the Farmer? Critiques of the Georgics in Columella and Pliny." Classical Philology 102, no. 2 (2007): 180-197.


I would be willing to supervise students working on Roman cultural and intellectual history, Roman historiography, ecohistory, history of science, and classical reception studies.

Philip de Souza, PhD (London):

My main research areas are warfare, seafaring and society in Antiquity and World History. My books include: Piracy in the Graeco-Roman World (CUP 1999); Seafaring and Civilization: Maritime Perspectives on World History (Profile Books 2001); The Ancient World at War (Thames & Hudson 2008); The Sea in History: The Ancient World/La Mer dans l’Histoire: L’Antiquité (Boydell 2017), co-edited with Prof Pascal Arnaud (Université de Lyon III). I am currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Seafaring in the Classical World with Prof William Murray (University of South Florida).

I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2000. I am a member of the Irish Association of Professional Historians and the Classical Association of Ireland. I am a founder member of an interdisciplinary research Centre for War Studies at UCD and a member of the UCD Humanities Institute.

I am willing to supervise research students in ancient political, social and economic history, especially, but not limited to, warfare, seafaring and piracy.

(opens in a new window)Christopher Farrell, PhD (King’s College London)

I am interested in the intellectual history of Classical Greece with particular emphasis on Xenophon, ancient political thought, historiography, and mythology. I also work on interactions between the civilisations of ancient Greece with those of ancient Iran and Mesopotamia. To date much of my research has been devoted to the thought of Xenophon the Athenian, ancient democracy and oligarchy, as well as Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Persian empire. I have published on various aspects of the Xenophontic corpus and am currently in the process of writing a monograph on Xenophon’s political and social thought, as well as co-editing a volume on the reception of Xenophon. 

Select Publications:

  • Farrell, C. (2016), ‘Xenophon Poroi 5: Securing a ‘More Just’ Athenian Hegemony’, Polis 33.2: 331-355.
  • Farrell, C. (2012), ‘Laconism and Democracy: Re-reading the Lakedaimoniōn Politeia and Re-thinking Xenophon’, in (eds. Joanna Paul et al.) Governing Diversities. (Newcastle: CSP) 10-35.


I would be willing to supervise research students and mentor postdoctoral researchers interested in working on: Xenophon, fifth- and fourth-century Greek history and historiography, and ancient political thought.

Michael Lloyd,  DPhil (Oxon):

My main interest is Greek drama, and I have also worked on Homer, Herodotus, Plato, and Greek syntax. My doctoral thesis was on Euripides, about whom I have written a number of articles as well as two books: The Agon in Euripides (1992) and an edition of his play Andromache (1994; 2nd ed., 2005). I have also worked on the two other great 5th-century tragedians, Sophocles and Aeschylus. A book on Sophocles’ Electra appeared in 2005, and I edited an anthology of articles on Aeschylus in the Oxford Readings series published by Oxford University Press (2007). My current research focuses on narratology and pragmatics, especially politeness theory. I am also interested in the reception of Greek drama in Ireland.

Select publications:

  • ‘The hortative aorist’, Classical Quarterly 68 (2018), 415–24
  • ‘Sophocles’, in K. de Temmerman & E. van Emde Boas (eds), Characterization in Ancient Greek Literature (Studies in Ancient Greek Narrative IV; Leiden: Brill, 2017), 337–54
  • ‘Realism in Euripides’, forthcoming in A. Markantonatos (ed.), Brill’s Companion to Euripides
  • ‘Friendship terms in Plato’, forthcoming in L. Unceta Gómez and Ł. Berger (eds), Im/Politeness Research in Ancient Greek and Latin
  • ‘Brian Friel’s Greek tragedy: narrative, drama, and fate in Living Quarters’, Irish University Review 30/2 (2000), 244–53


I would be willing to supervise research students on most areas of Greek literature, especially drama, and on the reception of Greek drama in Ireland.

Alexander Thein, PhD (Univ. of Pennsylvania):

My research is on politics and violence in the Late Roman Republic, in particular the period of Sulla’s dictatorship and the civil wars of the 80s B.C. One of my interests is the balance of power between Sulla and his faction, and the extent to which they imposed constraints on his power to dictate. The main focus of my research is the logic and mechanics of the proscriptions, and the extent to which this system of state-sponsored violence was defined ‘from below’ by non-political motives such as personal enmity and greed. I have also published on other topics ranging from Greek ethnicity and Roman Republican memoirs to the public image of Augustus and the topography of the city of Rome.

Select publications:

  • Sulla: Politics and Reception. Berlin: De Gruyter. Co-edited with Alexandra Eckert (forthcoming 2019).
  • Percussores: A study in Sullan violence’, Tyche 32 (2017) 235-50.
  • ‘Booty in the Sullan Civil War of 83-82 B.C.’, Historia 65 (2016) 450-72.
  • ‘Reflecting on Sulla’s Clemency’, Historia 63 (2014) 166-86.
  • ‘Capitoline Jupiter and the Historiography of Roman World Rule’, Histos 8 (2014) 284-319.


I would be willing to supervise research students on the following topics: politics and culture from the Late Republic to the Augustan period; and civil war and political violence in all periods of Roman history.

UCD School of Classics

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