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: smith.pdf

Selected Publications:

  • The long lives of Roman statues: Public monuments in late antique Aphrodisias

  • Aphrodisias

  • Statue Practice in the late Roman Empire: Numbers, Costumes, and Style

  • The Last Statues of Antiquity

  • Aphrodisias Papers Excavation and research at Aphrodisias, 2006-2012

  • The Greek East under Rome

  • Troilos and Achilles: A Monumental Statue Group from Aphrodisias

  • Eikōn chalkē: Hellenistic statue honours in bronze

  • Citizens and kings in the Tomba Bella at Hierapolis - ILARIA ROMEO, DARIO PANARITI, ROSANGELA UNGARO, LA TOMBA BELLA. UN HEROON GIULIO-CLAUDIO E IL SUO SARCOFAGO (Hierapolis di Frigia VI; Missione Archeologica...

  • Gods in Colour A Guide to the Exhibition

  • More