Revd. Professor Martin Henig

Faculty association:
People type:
Academic Background

I was born 22 March 1942 at Harrow, Middlesex, England and brought up in north-west Middlesex. I was educated at:
Merchant Taylors’ School, London                        1955-1960
St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge  1960-1963 (BA/MA)
Institute of Archaeology, University of London     1963-1965 (Dip.Arch)
Worcester College, University of Oxford               1967-1972 (D.Phil)

From Worcester College I obtained my doctorate for a thesis on Engraved Gemstones from British Sites published in 1974, with new editions published in 1978 and 2007. I was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 6 March 1975

I have taught, lectured and supervised over the years at all levels including doctoral theses, mainly in the University of Oxford. During the past 30 years I have written and edited books and catalogues on Roman art and religion, including Vindolanda Jewellery (Graham, 1975); A Handbook of Roman Art (Phaidon, 1983); Religion in Roman Britain (Batsford, 1984); Pagan Gods and Shrines of the Roman Empire (OUAC, ed. with A. King 1986); Architecture and Architectural Sculpture in the Roman Empire (OUCA, ed. 1990); The Art of Roman Britain (Batsford, 1994); Roman Oxfordshire (Sutton, with P. Booth 2000); The Heirs of King Verica (Tempus, 2002); Roman Art, Religion and Society (Archaeopress, ed. 2006).

Between 1997-2009 I was a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and am still a member of Common Room of the college. In 1998 I was awarded a higher doctorate, a DLitt ,by Oxford University for my publications. In 2007 I was presented with a Festschrift by various friends (Pagans and Christians – from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Papers in honour of Martin Henig, presented on the occasion of his 65th birthday, edited by Lauren Gilmour. BAR International Series 1610, 2007) which contains a complete bibliography to that date.

I was editor for 23 years of the Journal of the British Archaeological Association, from 1985 to 2007 and am now a vice-president of the Association and continue to take an active part in the Association’s work.

I have continued to conduct research on Roman sculpture and gems over the past two years (see bibliography). With Penny Coombe and Kevin Hayward I have completed work on the remarkable cache of Roman sculpture, much of it from a tower tomb, found re-used at Stanwick, Northants and the paper we propose to submit to Britannia will be submitted in the next couple of months. Penny and I went to a Mithras conference in Alba Iulia. Romania last year and our paper on the Inveresk altars adding considerably to the paper of which I was a co-author published in Britannia will be published in the conference Transactions. We have also discovered a remarkable Roman relief of two dancing deities and other Roman stones at Peterborough cathedral and this will be published in the BAA Peterborough Transactions this year

I have been contributing to Professor Martin Biddle’s forthcoming Roman volume of Winchester Studies [I am the Society of Antiquaries representative on the Winchester Archaeological Research Committee]and this has already resulted in a major paper on the discoveries of statuettes and bronze vessels and the implications of these finds all made during railway construction in the 1830s to JBAA for publication this year.

I have also been working on Roman engraved gems and finger rings, including site finds from Roman Britain. Notes in the bibliography a paper with John Cherry on gems in Medieval settings and a paper with James Gerrard on Brancaster rings (Bonner Jahrbucher).The catalogue of the complete collection assembled by Derek Content is in press with Brepols. I am also co-editing a conference volume on Roman villas with Grahame Soffe and Kate Adcock due to be submitted to Oxbow in June.

 I am always happy to engage with anyone working in the field of Roman art and iconography, especially in the art of the North West provinces and in the field of Ancient, especially Roman glyptics.

Outside my academic work I am an Anglican priest in the Osney Benefice, Oxford and particularly involved with Animal Ethics.


Research Interests

I enjoy helping students and scholars in my areas of expertise whenever I have the opportunity. I have been co-operating very frequently with Sally Worrell for the Portable Antiquities Scheme especially elucidating gems, small bronzes and other works of  Roman  art.