Professor Bert Smith

Academic Background

I studied Classics and then Classical Archaeology at Oxford University. I was a Fellow by Examination in Ancient History at Magdalen College, Oxford (1981-1986) and a Harkness Fellow at Princeton University (1983-85). I taught Hellenistic and Roman art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University from 1986 to 1995. I have participated in fieldwork at Oinoanda and Balboura in Lycia and  been director of the excavation and research project at Aphrodisias in Caria since 1991.

Research Interests

My main research interests are in the art and visual cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. My work is mainly directed at the historical interpretation of ancient visual representation and its relationship with contemporary social and political culture. In connection with my work at Aphrodisias I have a particular interest in the art and archaeology of the Greek cities of the Eastern Roman Empire. I have been engaged in the study and publication of the new marble finds from Aphrodisias since 1985. I had a British Academy/ Philip Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship in 2007-8 for aspects of this work, and with the historian Bryan Ward-Perkins was awarded an Art and Humanities Research Council grant for a project titled 'The Last Statues of Antiquity' (2009-2012) to investigate the distinctive character of statue use in late antiquity from AD 284 to 650: The results were published in a collaborative book, The Last Statues of Antiquity (eds. R.R.R. Smith and B. Ward-Perkins, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2016).

Research Keywords

Art and visual cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world; historical interpretation of ancient representation and its relationship with social and political culture; archaeology of Greek cities of Eastern Roman Empire.


Lectures, classes, and graduate classes and seminars on Greek and Roman art and archaeology.


Full Publications: Professor RRR Smith Publications list 2020

Selected Publications:

  1. ‘Diadems, royal hairstyles, and the Berlin Attalos’, in Art of the Hellenistic Kingdoms: From Pergamon to Rome (Metropolitan Museum, New York 2019), 75-82.
  2. ‘Antinous: a boy made god in the Roman Empire’, Omnibus 78 (2019), 4-6.
  3. ‘Mythology and Sarcophagi at Aphrodisias and Rome’, in C.H. Hallett (ed), Flesheaters: An international symposium on Roman    Sarcophagi (Sarkophag-Studien 11, Wiesbaden 2019), 161-175.
  4. ‘Aphrodisias 2017’, 40. Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı, Çannakale (Ankara 2019), Vol. 3, 239-264.
  5. ‘Aphrodisias 2018’, 41. Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı, Diyarbakır (Ankara 2020), Vol. 4, 45-68.
  6. ‘The Basin at the East Propylon: Statuary and Mythological Reliefs, c. AD 500-550’ in A. Wilson and B. Russell (eds), The Place of Palms: An Urban Park at Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias XII (Wiesbaden forthcoming 2020), chapter 6, with J. Thomas