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Dr Louis Rawlings

Dr Louis Rawlings

Senior Lecturer in Ancient History, Safety, Health and Environment and Facilities Lead

+44 (0)29 2087 5744
+44(0)29 2087 4929
4.02, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU


Research interests

  • Ancient warfare (Greek, Roman Republican, Italian, Gallic, Carthaginian)
  • Warrior values and display
  • State formation
  • Carthage (including Hannibal)
  • Ethnography and history
  • Antiquity in gaming (physical and digital)

Research projects

Carthaginian Warfare (6th to 2nd centuries BC)


Education and qualifications

1987-1990, 1991-1994 University College London

1990 BA Ancient and Medieval History, 1st class honours

1997 PhD (thesis: The Ethos of Aristocratic Warrior Elites in the Ancient World)

Career overview

1995 Lecturer in Cardiff School of History and Archaeology





  • Rawlings, L. 2013. War and warfare in Ancient Greece’. In: Campbell, B. and Tritle, L. A. eds. The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-28.


  • Rawlings, L. 2011. A dog called Hybris. In: Lambert, S. D. ed. Sociable man: essays on Ancient Greek social behaviour in honour of Nick Fisher. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales, pp. 145-159.
  • Rawlings, L. 2011. The war in Italy, 218–203. In: Hoyos, B. D. ed. A companion to the Punic Wars. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 299-319.



  • Rawlings, L. 2009. Ancient warfare. In: Erskine, A. ed. A Companion to Ancient History. Wiley, pp. 531-542.






  • Rawlings, L. 1998. Caesar's portrayal of Gauls as warriors. In: Powell, A. and Welch, K. eds. Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter: The War Commentaries as Political Instruments. Duckworth & Classical Press of Wales, pp. 171-192.




  • Introduction to Ancient History (HS3105)
  • Rome and Carthage (HS3333)
  • Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: Classical Greece (HS3374)
  • Gaming Antiquity (HS3392)
  • Greek Warfare (HS4366)


Research supervision

I have supervised PhDs on various aspects of Greek and Roman military history, Greek social history, and historiography. I am happy to consider supervising topics relating to Greek, Roman Republican and Carthaginian warfare and society.


Carthaginian Warfare (6th to 2nd centuries BC)

The Punic military system is a relatively neglected topic. For the most part, treatments have been subsumed into more general histories of Carthage or narratives of Rome's wars with the city. Modern assumptions about the nature of Punic warfare have often been influenced by ancient stereotypes of the Carthaginians as a mercantile and unwarlike people who depended on a small elite of citizen career generals who commanded mercenary armies with little interest or support from the broader Punic elite or general population. A rigorous examination of such perspectives is long overdue and by drawing on recent studies of the manner in which authors, such as Polybius, consciously and sub-consciously shaped their material this study will produce a better understanding of the distorting effects of historical and ethnographic writing in shaping modern perceptions, and a more sophisticated and nuanced appraisal of the dynamics of Carthaginian warfare.

The purpose of the project is to assess the nature of Carthaginian war-making and its influence on the development of warfare in the western Mediterranean and beyond, from the sixth to the second century BC.


Research links