Dr Nikki Rollason

School webpage personal entry and information

Teaching Fellow in Ancient History

Email: nkr4@le.ac.uk



Nikki Rollason is a Teaching Fellow in Ancient History at the University of Leicester and joined the School of Archaeology and Ancient History in 2017. She specialises in the cultural history of the Later Roman Empire (c. 400-600 CE), and is particularly interested in the interaction between literary representations and cultural performances, particularly dress.

After completing her BA (Hons) and MA at the University of Nottingham, Nikki spent three years working outside of academia. She gained her PhD in Classics (supervised by Doug Lee and Mark Bradley) in 2013. Since then she has been employed as a Teaching Associate in Classical Studies (equivalent to a fixed-term Lecturer) at the University of Nottingham and as a Lecturer teaching Medieval Latin to beginners at Nottingham Trent University, before joining the University of Leicester as a Teaching Fellow in Ancient History in 2017. Alongside her duties delivering both campus-based and distance learning modules at the University of Leicester, Nikki was the Classical Association Conference Administrator, managing and organising the largest Annual Classical Association Conference, held at the University in 2018. She will be with the School of Archaeology and Ancient History until the beginning of March 2020.



Nikki’s research explores the cultural history of the Late Antique period and does this primarily through a focus on dress and early Christian literature. She is currently examining the effect an increasingly militarised society in the later Roman period had on early monasticism, concentrating especially on the role belts played in the articulation of the monastic identity as milites Christi, ‘soldiers of Christ,’ in monastic texts during the fourth to sixth centuries CE.

Further new research from Nikki is exploring the impact a changing climate in the Roman period had on male dress. She has given a paper on this subject at the Université Paris Nanterre and University of Wales, Trinity St David. She is also collaborating with Michael Lewis, Head of Portable Antiquities at the British Museum, on a study of Harold-as-Aeneas in the Bayeux Tapestry and with Mary Harlow, University of Leicester, on a monograph for Edinburgh University Press entitled The Family in the Roman World. This new research is due to be published 2019-2020.

Nikki’s previous research has focused on the political, diplomatic and Christian environments of the Late Antique world, examining gifts of clothing as literary devices in the fourth to the sixth centuries CE. Concluding that authors described such items not to provide examples of real gifts, but as tools to place problematic authority figures under the mantle of ‘orthodoxy,’ Nikki’s research demonstrated that these literary events were part of wider cultural performances of power and her work brings into question the reliability of written accounts of these gifts. Her monograph on this topic, Gifts of Clothing in Late Antique Literature, was published by Routledge in 2016.



Nikki co-ordinates and teaches on a range of campus-based Ancient History modules, including the second year modules AH2044: Greek History in 40 Lives and AH2012: Sources, Methods and Theory and first year modules AH1009: Approaching Roman Evidence and AH1011: Introduction to the Roman World. She also periodically co-ordinates the Distance Learning modules AH1551: Introduction to Roman History, AH2551: Age of Augustus and AH3551: The Later Roman Empire, and supervises undergraduate dissertations on a variety of subject areas in Roman history.

More information about Nikki can be found on Academia.edu.


  • Rollason, N. K. 2016. Gifts of Clothing in Late Antique Literature. London/New York: Routledge
  • Rollason, N. K. and M. Lewis [In press] ‘Harold-as-Aeneas: the influence of the Aeneid on a scene of heroism in the Bayeux Tapestry,’ Greece and Rome.
  • Rollason, N. K. [In press] ‘Review: Carroll, M. 2018. Infancy and Earliest Childhood in the Roman World. “A Fragment of Time.” (OUP),’ Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth.
  • Rollason, N. K. [In press] ‘Review: Sivan, H. 2018. Jewish Childhood in the Roman World (CUP),’ Classical Review.

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