Dr Jack Lennon

Jack LennonLecturer in Ancient History

BA, MA, PhD (Nottingham), FHEA


Personal details


I studied Ancient History and Classics at Nottingham and received my PhD in 2011. Before coming to Leicester in 2016 I held positions at Nottingham, Kent and University College London. In 2013 I spent time at the British School at Rome as the Mougins Museum Rome Award holder, conducting research into the representation of sacrificial attendants in Roman art, epigraphy and society.


I am interested in all aspects of Roman cultural history and especially the subjects of religion and magic in the Roman world. Much of my past research has been devoted to the phenomenon of religious pollution and ritual impurity in Rome, along with Roman notions of dirtiness and hygiene.

Recently, my research has begun to focus more and more on the issue of marginalisation across the ancient world and to consider the ways in which forms of marginality were defined, legislated, justified and achieved over an extended timeframe.

These various research strands are being brought together in my next monograph which is focusing on the role of dirt as a tool within the wider process of social marginalisation in ancient Rome, exploring the ways in which supposedly inherent ‘dirtiness’ was used as a means of forcing particular groups or individuals to the social periphery.


  • (2017) ‘Contaminating touch in the Roman world’, in A. Purves (ed.) Touch and the Ancient Senses (Routledge), 121-33.
  • (2015) ‘Victimarii in Roman religion and society’, Papers of the British School at Rome (83) 65-89.
  • (2015) ‘Dining and obligation in Valerius Maximus: the case of the sacra mensae’, Classical Quarterly (65.2) 719-31.
  • (2014) Pollution and Religion in Ancient Rome (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge).
  • (2012) ‘Pollution, religion and society in the Roman world’, in M. Bradley (ed.) Rome, Pollution and Propriety: Dirt, Disease and Hygiene in the Eternal City from Antiquity to Modernity (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge), 43-58.
  • (2010) ‘Menstrual blood in ancient Rome: an unspeakable impurity?’, Classica et Mediaevalia (61) 71-87.
  • (2010) ‘Jupiter Latiaris and the Taurobolium: inversions of cleansing in Christian polemic’, Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte (59.3) 381-384.
  • (2010) ‘Pollution and ritual impurity in Cicero’s De Domo Sua’, Classical Quarterly (60.2) 427-45.


Topics available for PhD supervision

I am happy to supervise students in most aspects of Republican and early Imperial cultural and political history, and I am especially interested the following subject areas:
  • Roman Religion


  • Marginalisation in Antiquity

  • Ancient Magic

  • The Roman Family

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