Our research

Recent and current collaborative projects include Ancient Love Letters, Hercules: a Hero for All Ages, The Reception of Cupid and Psyche from 1600 to Today and Commemorating Augustus: in every case Leeds colleagues have worked together with an international network of scholars, via conferences, smaller colloquia and editorial meetings, to produce volumes reflecting the most up-to-date scholarship in the field.  Individual projects include work on:

  • Literatures and Philosophies: Greek tragedy; Plato; Aristotle’s Poetics; Longinus’ On Sublimity; Augustan poetry; Apuleius.
  • Community and Identity: Greek oligarchies; Nemesis; local identity and cultural change in Roman Spain and Portugal.
  • Classics Across Media: classical commentary editions in the early era of print; Tony Harrison and the classics; BBC/Netflix series Troy: Fall of a City.

We are proud to host our own online journal Leeds International Classical Studies, edited by Professor Malcolm Heath.

Impact and engagement

Classics at Leeds is committed to educational and public engagement, and the potential impact of our research beyond academia is embedded into research plans for both individual and collaborative projects. 

Partnerships with local cultural organisations provide a means for coordinating traditional types of outreach activity, such as talks delivered to public audiences at Leeds City Museum and Rochdale’s Touchstones Museum, and an Iliad-themed poetry writer's group at Hartlepool’s Heugh Battery Museum. 

At the same time, individual projects have included the creation of web-based activities, such as the Brotherton Ovid digital learning resource, while the blog Penelope’s Weavings and Unpickings provides scholarly analysis of the influence of the ancient world in modern film and TV to geographically and demographically diverse audiences. 

The Hercules Project has worked with Leeds City Museum and other venues on an international touring exhibition (2015-16) based on the work of contemporary New Zealand printmaker Marian Maguire, and with the composer Tim Benjamin on the oratorio Herakles, premiered at Todmorden Town Hall in 2017.

Research projects:

Ancient Love Letters: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Sweden 1/2018-6/2018); project ongoing.

Hercules Project AHRC (9/2016-12/2018); 5 volumes forthcoming with Brill.

Cupid and Psyche British Academy (2016-18), Leverhulme (2016-18); volume forthcoming.

Commemorating Augustus 2014-18; volume Afterlives of Augustus: AD 14 - 2014 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2018). 

Legacies of War: Classics’ contributions to this University-wide project have included the conference Classics and Classicists in the First World War (April 2014) and the WWI Centenary Partnership Hartlepool remembered: legacies of the bombardment

Samian Pottery: The Leeds Index of Samian Potters’ Stamps, British Academy (10/2006–9/2007); The Samian Pottery Industries of Roman Gaul (3/2008–2/2012). 9 volumes Names on Terra Sigillata: an index of makers' stamps & signatures on Gallo-Roman terra sigillata (samian ware) (London, Institute of Classical Studies, 2008-12). 

Explore our projects for more details about our past and present research activity.

Academic team

Explore our profiles for more information about our academic team.