I teach mostly late republican and early imperial Roman History, covering the fascinating period of dynamic change during which Rome moved from a relatively democratic form of rule to the monarchical power of, albeit often benevolent, emperors. My research interests, however, range much more widely. I have published extensively on the works of Roman historians such as Tacitus, with his cynical take on the world of imperial power, and Polybius, who witnessed and analysed the rise of Rome as a global ruler. Both of my books to date focus on the Hellenistic period during which Rome began to emerge as the leading world power. My first book concerns the geographical tradition and examines the way in which Greek writers were forced to reevaluate their conceptions of the world in the light of Roman imperialism; this work focuses particularly on the geographer, Strabo, who left the only extensively surviving geographical description from antiquity (17 books), covering the whole known world. My second book shifts the focus from space to time, examining the conception and articulation of time in the Greek world, especially in the context of local history. By looking at the construction of the past through the medium of local historiography, it offers an insight into how different versions of the past and different constructions of time were offered to the community for approval. Besides publishing widely, I have appeared as invited speaker at many international conferences - from New York to Kyoto, the Basque country, Strasbourg, Milan, Essen, as well as in the UK. I am currently working on a book on Herodotus and his presentation of the natural world.
Greek and Roman historiography (especially Herodotus and Tacitus), ancient geographical traditions (especially in the late Hellenistic period), concepts of time, local and universal history.
Shaping the Geography of Empire
Walking through History: Unlocking the Mythical Past
Myths on the Map
The Routledge Companion to Strabo
‘D’une Méditerranée de pirates et de barbares à une Méditerranée cœur de civilisation: Strabon et la construction d’un concept unifié dans le cadre romain’
Pallas: revue d'etudes antiques
L’étude de la vision du monde proposée par Strabon dans sa Géographie permet d’analyser la transformation du concept de Méditerranée. L’œuvre de Strabon semble achever l’unification des deux mondes de Posidonius. L’élargissement des horizons romains ne concerne pas seulement la Méditerranée, mais le monde entier. La mer Intérieure reste cependant au cœur de l’organisation de l’œuvre du géographe, déterminant sa forme et sa direction. Strabon décrit une Méditerranée romaine, la lutte contre les pirates a été repoussée aux marges de l’Océan. Le monde méditerranéen s’est civilisé sous l’impulsion de Rome, centre du monde. La nouvelle étape décrite par Strabon est celle de la transformation de barbare en Romain aux frontières du monde.
Strabo, Mediterranean, Piracy, Ocean, unification of the world
Making time for the past
This book is about time and history in the Greek world. It argues that choices concerning the articulation and expression of time, especially time past, reflect the values and aspirations of both those who ‘make’ it and their audiences. Time is thus not only constructed, but also negotiated. This study ranges from the widespread awareness of time’s malleability and the perceived value of the past by the citizens of the Greek polis to the formal analysis of time-systems by Hellenistic scholars. It addresses the development by historians of ways to articulate the long span of historical time, from the chronological strategies developed by those who wrote universal narratives to those whose stories were about the individual polis.
The negotiation of time is of interest in any social context, but it carries particular resonance in the world of Greek poleis, where each community had its own calendar and ran to its own time. Both the articulation of time and the establishment of ‘shared’ histories have been seen individually as modes of self-expression for communities. An exploration of their intersection is, therefore, especially illuminating. By focusing on the phenomenon of city history, the creation of the past within a relatively restricted community, it is possible to examine more closely the dynamics of how time and the past were ‘made’. Therefore, this study brings together the wider theme of ‘managing time’, with an exploration of how history was created at a local level, within a civic context. It looks at the construction of the past as a social activity, which both reflects and contributes towards the sense of a shared identity.
Time, Local History, Historiography, Chronography, Polis Identity