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Ancient and modern receptions of antiquity

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 Classical Studies discipline has long been a pioneer of this kind of research, and the expertise of its current staff spans a wide range of topics, including classics and popular culture; modern receptions of ancient visual culture, and translations and adaptations of classical poems and plays. Applications for projects in any area that corresponds to the research interests of one or more members of staff are welcome; interaction with the School’s other research areas is also encouraged.

If you would like to join us as a full- or part-time research student, please contact us for an informal preliminary discussion (details below). A well thought-out research proposal which sets out specific research questions and your strategies for addressing them, and which outlines the originality of your topic or approach, will enhance your chances of admission. 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 discipline's research culture and engage with students in other universities).

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 and popular culture
  • Classical translations and adaptations
  • Reception of Greek and Roman medicine
  • 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
  • The depiction of slavery in ancient world TV drama

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.