Research interests

Research Themes

The history and culture of late Antiquity (c. 250-700 AD) forms my principal area of ongoing research. I am particularly interested in the historical and geographical writing of this period, poetry and its reception, issues of identity formation, and the evolution of modern scholarship on the late Roman and early medieval world.

While these interests have encompassed a fairly wide geographical span, much of my most recent work has focused on late antique North Africa, (what is now Tunisia and Northern Algeria), and the importance of this region within the wider world. My book The Vandals (Wiley-Blackwell) (co-written with Richard Miles of the University of Sydney) explores the origins, history and later understanding of this ‘barbarian’ group who dominated Carthage and the Western Mediterranean for much of the fifth and early sixth centuries. I also edited a volume entitled Vandals, Romans and Berbers: New Perspectives on Late Antique North Africa (Ashgate) which explores the wider world of North Africa in this important period. I am currently researching the development of the 'Moorish' or Berber successor states which rose to influence in what is now Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia between the fourth and seventh centuries CE. I have published a number of articles on these groups, and they are the topic of my current book project.

I am also interested in the history of ancient geographical thought. My first book History and Geography in Late Antiquity (CUP) explored the interdependence of geographical description and historical narrative in Latin historiography. My most recent publication Roman Geographies of the Nile (CUP) examines representations of that river in Roman prose, poetry, visual and triumphal art and travel literature in the last century of the Roman Republic and the first decades of the Empire (roughly 80 BCE - 80 CE). The study examines the contradictions and interdependences of these different forms of representation, and seeks to highlight the complexities of Roman responses to the physical world.

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