Department of Classics

Research projects in the Department of Classics

Members of the Department of Classics engage in a wide range of funded research projects across the field of ancient world studies, including educational research.

Current projects


This is an interdisciplinary project linking sociolinguistics, archaeology and ancient cultural history. Dramatic changes occurred linguistically in the north-western Roman Empire: a patchwork of local languages which existed in the Iron Age had been all but replaced by Latin as the dominant language by the end of the imperial period. Precisely how, when and why this change occurred, and how it relates to other social phenomena, remains an underexplored topic central to the Roman world and requires investigation which is only possible through an analysis cutting across provincial boundaries, and those between the Iron Age, Roman and early medieval periods, and reaching beyond Classics to modern sociolinguistics and Germanic, Celtic and Palaeo-hispanic studies. 

Funding: European Research Council

Project contacts:

Dr Alex Mullen 


This project draws on the expertise of scholars and practitioners (academic, creative, strategic and political) to deepen and develop understanding of the nature and role of the concepts of fate, luck and fortune (hereafter FLF) and their influence on perceptions of agency in different types of narratives concerned with environmental risk. It aims not only to develop new understandings of historical narratives, but also to find fresh perspectives on the communication around environmental risks.  

Funding: Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Project contacts:

Dr Esther Eidinow (Nottingham)

Prof Georgina Endfield (Liverpool)


Past projects 


Cognitive Approaches to Ancient Religious Experience

Building on the project, Ancient Religions and Cognition, this network brings together scholars from the ancient history of religion on the one hand, and the cognitive science of religion on the other, to investigate the individual nature of religious experience, encompassing physical, emotional and cognitive aspects.

Funding: Arts and Humanities Research Council with support from the Institute of Classical Studies

Project contacts: Esther Eidinow (University of Nottingham), Armin W Geertz (University of Aarhus)

Undergraduate Classics courses
Research in the Digital Humanities Centre

Ancient Religions and Cognition

This project confronts the challenges posed to the study of ancient religions by new cognitive approaches and vice versa. It aims to develop a network of scholars, including those engaged in various cognitive disciplines (ie focussing wholly or in part on the mental processes involved in ritual practices and belief), as well as those who study ancient ritual practices and belief. 

Funding: The British Academy and SPHS

Project contacts: Esther Eidinow (University of Nottingham),
Tom Harrison (University of Liverpool)

Sparta in Comparative Perspective

This project combined the study of Spartan social institutions in comparative perspective with examination of the appropriation of Sparta within European thought as a comparative model for contemporary societies. 

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Project director:
Stephen Hodkinson (University of Nottingham) 

Fragmentary Roman Historians

This project produced a new edition of the fragmentary Roman Historians (writing in Greek as well as Latin) whose works are lost, but which survive in part through quotations and allusions in other authors. 

Project director: Tim Cornell, University of Manchester

Departmental contact: 
John Rich


The Oath in Archaic and Classical Greece

This project created a database of all references to oaths in Greek texts from the earliest alphabetic inscriptions down to 322 BC, and analysed and interpreted this evidence in a two-volume study.

The Leverhulme Trust

Project director: Alan Sommerstein (University of Nottingham)

Mirror of Diana

Few archaeological sites in the world evoke such a sense of awe as the ancient Temple of Diana at Nemi in Italy. The online project Speculum Dianae brought this ancient Roman temple back to life – in an interactive virtual temple featuring dozens of ancient objects unearthed from Nemi.

Project director: Katharina Lorenz (University of Nottingham)

Image in Crisis: A Bi-National Perspective

This project aimed to dissect prevalent approaches to the study of images in the Greek and Roman worlds, and to explore the development of the discipline in the 20th and 21st century.

Funding: Research Innovation Services  

Project director: Katharina Lorenz (University of Nottingham)



Department of Classics

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details