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Ancient History

Scholarship in Ancient History at Cardiff combines traditional and innovative approaches to the study of the ancient worlds along with research excellence across the discipline.

This had led to particular strengths in gender studies across Greco-Roman, Persian and Byzantine society, military, social and political history of ancient Greece, Greek Epigraphy, the Carthaginian and early Roman Mediterranean, dynastic histories of Ancient Persia, the Hellenistic world and the later Roman and Byzantine worlds.

We work to broaden the study of Ancient History beyond its traditional boundaries to interface across the geographical and temporal regions.

We have attracted funding from, amongst others, the AHRC, Leverhulme, British Academy, British Institute of Persian Studies, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation.


  • Greek Society and Epigraphy
    Examining the rich world of Classical Athens and Greece through historiography, reception and epigraphic traditions.
  • Early Rome and Italy
    Research in Ancient History is exploring and reshaping the history and study of the rise of Rome and its place in the Italian peninsula before Empire.
  • Hellenistic World
    Research focuses on the interaction between different cultures and traditions in the unique and dynamic context of the Hellenistic world, particularly in the Seleucid Empire and the Greek Mainland.
  • Military History
    Addressing war, warfare, and the military experience, we focus too on the social and economic impact of war across elite and non-elite cultures of the ancient world. We explore the socio-cultural worlds of warriors and soldiers and the wider consequences of war on male civilians, women, and children.
  • Ancient Persia and the Near East
    Cardiff has established itself as a centre for the study of the ancient Iranian world and its Near Eastern neighbours.  Research specialisms include the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sasanian empires, gender, material culture, and court society, and monarchy.
  • Late Antiquity and Byzantium
    Research specialisms include late antique religion, court society and culture, dynastic history (the Constantinian dynasty, and Byzantium's Macedonian dynasty), and Sasanian Iran.
  • Gender and society
    Looking at gender across ancient cultures, through studies on elite and non-elite gender roles, with special interesting in dress, anthropological approaches to gender, motherhood, royal women, masculinity, eunuchs, transgender and intersex roles from Greece and Rome to the Near East and Byzantium
  • Medicine and technology
    Considering themes of science, medicine and the body across Greco-Roman society through both material and literary evidence.


Our research is designed to reach out across the academic/public divide such as our AHRC funded project on Attic Inscriptions Online (AIO) and Attic Inscriptions Online UK (AIOUK). These websites are making translations and images of key inscriptions of the classical Greek world accessible to schools, museums, libraries and anyone with a general interest in the fascinating and intricate world of classical Athens.

The Thucydides Global project aims to bring today’s political landscape into perspective by studying how Thucydides and his reception still impact political thinking in today’s democracies.

The groundbreaking work on pre-Islamic Iran and the Achaemenid Empire done through Cardiff University has led to fundamental changes in the curriculum of A level Ancient History being expanded to include the Persians.

The University is home to the Cardiff Centre for Late Antique Religion and Culture that supports funded annual lectures and cross-school research. It is also the home of the Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture.