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  1. Study at the OU
  2. Research degrees
  3. Research areas
  4. Classical Studies
  5. Ancient and modern receptions of antiquity

Ancient and modern receptions of antiquity

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An image to illustrate studying Ancient and modern reception of antiquity with The Open University

The ancient world has never gone away. Research into ancient and modern receptions of antiquity focuses on how the texts, images and ideas of Greek and/or Roman culture have been transmitted, adapted, rewritten and appropriated in a range of ancient and modern cultures. The expertise of staff in the Department of Classical Studies includes classics and film; classics and popular culture; classics and medicine; and translations and adaptations of classical poems and plays. Applications for projects considering receptions of texts or of material culture are equally welcome and interaction with the department's other research clusters is encouraged.

If you would like to join us as a full- or part-time research student, in an area that corresponds to the research interests of one or more members of staff, please contact the department for an informal preliminary discussion. A well thought-out research proposal which sets out specific research questions and your strategies for addressing them will enhance your chances of admission, and we are always glad to offer advice before application (for example on how your project might enhance existing work in the field; what facilities you would need; what ancient and/or modern language ability you need for your project; and how you could participate in the department’s research culture and engage with students in other universities).

We welcome applications in areas which correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact the department.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Classics, film, and popular culture
  • Classical translations and adaptations
  • Reception of Greek and Roman medicine
  • Classics in postcolonial contexts
  • Reception of Greek and Roman art
  • Reception of Greek and Latin drama and poetry.

Current / recent research projects

  • The reception of Catullus in the Romantic era
  • What’s Hecuba to him, or he to her? RSC productions of classical drama
  • Reception of Euripides’ Hippolytus from 1700 to the present
  • Oscar Wilde and the classical feminine
  • Myth in reception at Stourhead

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Ursula Rothe
44 (0)1908 653247

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under ‘Your questions’ on the right of the page.