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Dr Eve MacDonald

Dr Eve MacDonald

Senior Lecturer in Ancient History (Study Leave 2022/3)

+44 (0)29 2087 9682
Room 4.09, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am broadly interested in the social history and archaeology of many places in the ancient Mediterranean and near east. I have worked previously on the history and archaeology of Carthage and continue to research on the archaeological legacy of 19th and 20th century colonial occupation in North Africa. I am also now researching and teaching on Sasanian Iran and the broader Sasanian Empire. I have travelled and worked widely across the Mediterranean and the Ancient Near East and find inspiration in all differents periods and cultures that make up our global ancient worlds - especially those outside the traditional Greco-Roman narrative.


I was born in Halifax, Canada and graduated from the University of Alberta (Canada) with a degree in Classics and then went on to an MA at the Institute of Archaeology in London (UK) and a PhD in Ancient History at the University of Ottawa (Canada).  I teach and research around cultures both inside and outside of the Roman Empire and have taught courses in Carthaginian, Roman and Persian material culture and history.  I have always worked in the field on excavations, first in Italy, and then at Carthage in Tunisia while my most recent fieldwork includes the excavations of Sasanian Persian outposts in Georgia, Iran and Oman for the ‘Persia and Its Neighbours Project’.

Besides academic work I have also been a guide across the Mediterranean and Middle East and focused on areas of specific cultural and archaeological interest. I have led tours in Greece, Turkey, North Africa and across the Middle East and was lucky enough to spend time in Syria before the recent war.  My first book, Hannibal: A Hellenistic Life follows on from a long interest in the history and archaeology of Carthage and was published with Yale University Press.  I am writing a new book on the history of the Sasanian Empire for the same publisher.  When not teaching at Cardiff I live in London

Professional memberships

British Institute of Persian Studies

Royal Asiatic Society

Institute of Classical Studies

Academic positions

2017-present: Lecturer at Cardiff University

2012-2017: Teaching Fellow at University of Reading

2007-2011: Teaching Fellow at University of Edinburgh (part-time)

Speaking engagements

  • If One Sasanian Girl Remains: Sasanian Sisters and Dynastic Practices: given a panel on Cross-Cultural Dynasties (also panel co-organiser) at the CCC, Coimbra Portugal (June. 2019)
  • Shirin in Context: A powerful woman at the end of Antiquity: Kassel, Germany (Jan. 2019)
  • Hannibal and Remembering War: Invited Lecture at the Gloucester History Festival (Sept. 11, 2018)
  • What Women Are These? Gendered Royal Iconography and the Sasanians at the Roman Archaeology Conference, Panel on Sasanian and Roman Cross Cultural Interactions, Edinburgh University (upcoming April 13, 2018)
  • Hannibal and Carthage after Zama, paper and panel discussion for the CSC/AIA joint meeting (January, 2018)
  • Cassius Dio and the Rise of the Sasanians, at Colloquium on Contemporary History in the Ancient World, Oxford University (May 19, 2017)
  • Panel member for Showcasing Women in the Arts and Humanities, University of Reading (Nov. 15, 2016)
  • Hannibal: The Elephant in the Room, invited lecture for the Reading Classical Association (June 21, 2016)
  • Hannibal, Livy and Remembering War, invited lecture for the Scottish Classical Association (Edinburgh branch) (Dec. 2, 2015)
  • Hannibal and Livy, invited lecture at Charterhouse School Classics Society, (April, 2015)








I teach on a range of topics related to the Roman Empire, the Parthian and Sasanian worlds and resistance to Rome.  I am currently Part 1 Tutor for Ancient History which means I look after the 1st year teaching.  My teaching is inspired by students who are interested in understanding today's ideas of the past and how we got here -- ideas around identity, ethnicity, colonialism, post-colonial theory all interest me.

Current research is directed towards a monograph on the history of Sasanian Iran that will be published by Yale University Press.  I am also involved in fieldwork at the site of Fulayj in Oman where we have uncovered a Sasanian fort that is leading us to reassess the early Islamic period in Oman.  I continue to be involved in research on Carthage and am co-authoring a book on the history of the archaeological site of Carthage and the processes that formed it.


Sasanian Iran: history, material culture and archaeology

Carthage: reception, material culture, archaeological history and legacy

Resistance to imperial power and identity

Current supervision

Domiziana Rossi

Domiziana Rossi

Research student

Sean Strong

Sean Strong

Research student


Clare Parry

Research student


Anthony Curtis

Research student