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Prof. Alison Cooley


Director of the Humanities Research Centre (Sep 2022-Aug 2025)

Deputy Head of Dept; Director of Research and Impact; Coordinator of the Classical Association Conference 2024

The Higher Education Academy, Fellow
Tel: 24918 Email: A dot Cooley at warwick dot ac dot uk
Faculty of Arts Building, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL


I studied 'Greats' at St John's College, Oxford between 1989 and 1993, and subsequently carried out my research for my D.Phil. (The role of inscribed monuments in transforming public space at Pompeii and Ostia) at the same college, latterly as North Senior Scholar. After a period of research at the British School at Rome as holder of a Rome Award in Ancient Italian Studies, I then took up a joint post as Junior Research Fellow (Corpus Christi College, Oxford) and Murray Fellow (History Faculty, Oxford) before joining Warwick in 2000.

Research interests

I am interested in all aspects of the Roman world - social, cultural, economic, and political. My research focuses upon Roman Italy and the early Principate in particular, and upon the use of inscriptions in both ancient and modern times. I enjoy the interchange of ideas between teaching and researching. In 2009, I produced a new edition and commentary of the Res Gestae divi Augusti, in 2012 The Cambridge Manual of Latin Epigraphy, and in 2023 an edition and commentary of the Senatorial Decree on Piso. A new edition of Pompeii and Herculaneum: A Sourcebook appeared in 2014, and the edited volume, A Companion to Roman Italy (Blackwell-Wiley) in 2016. Pompeii: An Archaeological Site History (2nd edition, Bloomsbury) will appear in Oct. 2023, whilst Herculaneum: An Archaeological Site History (Bloomsbury) and two volumes of Julio-Claudian Documents for the Loeb Classical Library are in preparation.

From Oct 2013- Dec 2017, I was Principal Investigator on the Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions Project, funded by the AHRC. I am President of the British Epigraphy Society, and am on the advisory board for the research project 'Crossreads: Text, materiality, and multiculturalism at the crossroads of the ancient Mediterranean’ (PI Jonathan Prag), ERC Advanced grant, 2020-2025. I have served on the Council of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies for two three-year periods, and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Roman Studies 2013-2018, whilst also taking on shared responsibility for Papers of the British School at Rome from 2017. I have acted as Honorary Publications Officer for the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents in Oxford since the Centre's inception in 1997, and I am joint series editor (with Andrew Meadows) of the Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents, published by Oxford University Press. I have been a Faculty Member for the British School at Rome from 2014. I am also a member of the international research team, led by Prof Clifford Ando (Chicago), working on Roman Statutes.

Publications in press

  • Pompeii (Bloomsbury, 2023)
  • 'The role of the non-elite in spreading Latin in Roman Britain', in Alex Mullen (ed.), Social Factors in the Latinization of the Roman West (OUP)
  • 'Control: The destruction of monuments', in D. Agri and S. Lewis (eds) Cultural History of Media: Antiquity (Bloomsbury)
  • Oxford Online Bibliographies - Augustus (updated edition)
  • Oxford Classical Dictionary, 'Latin Epigraphy'

Teaching and supervision


  • Dissertation supervision
  • Transformation of Roman Society under Augustus
  • The Roman Empire from Tiberius to Hadrian
  • Roman Culture and Society

In 2004 I was awarded The Butterworth Memorial Teaching Award by the University; in 2013 an IATL Pedagogic Intervention grant, for the project 'Students as Researchers at the British Museum'; in 2019 an IATL Academic Fellowship, ‘Redesigning CX110 (Roman Culture and Society, core module)’, and IAS Award for a public engagement project jointly with Warwick Manufacturing Group, ‘3-D Scanning and Roman Heritage: A Test Case in Public Engagement’.


  • Taught MA in Ancient Visual and Material Culture (Classical Epigraphy; Advanced Ancient Language; Ancient Visual Material Culture)
Current pg dissertations supervised:
  • Imperial women of the third century (PhD 2021-) Richard Allard-Meldrum (jointly with Clare Rowan)
  • Working Wonders: Ritual and magic in early and classical Roman law (5th century BCE to 3rd century CE) (PhD 2022-) Shekinah Vera-Cruz (Wolfson funded).

Full list of postgraduate dissertations supervised

Research degrees examined:

  • Roman funerary monuments and the construction of identity in Pompeii, Gaul and Deva between 50 BC and AD 250 (MA, Warwick)
  • Reshaping Jewish identity: the role of insiders and outsiders in the early Roman period (MA, Warwick)
  • The Dynamics of Civic Euergetism in Spain, Gaul and Africa (D.Phil., Oxford)
  • Divine justification: Flavian imperial cult (M.Litt., Oxford)
  • Asinius Pollio (PhD, University of Western Australia)
  • Augustus and the Roman Provinces of Iberia (PhD, Liverpool)
  • Hope, fear, and conceptions of the future in the early Principate (DPhil., Oxford)
  • Inscribing Domestic Space in Pompeii (MA R, Macquarie)
  • A linguistic analysis of Roman Republican official letters in Greek (PhD, Macquarie)
  • Classical Remains and Christian Remembrance; Reviewing Late Roman Sarcophagi (PhD, Warwick)
  • Roman archetypes: how Augustus used Roman mores and exempla to justify his leading role in Roman society (MA R, Birmingham)
  • Damnatio memoriae and exemplarity in imperial Rome, from the Julio-Claudians to the Severans (PhD, Warwick)
  • Theory and practice of adulatio in Seneca the Younger (PhD, Warwick)

I am keen to supervise postgraduate students who wish to study topics related to Latin epigraphy and Roman social, cultural, and political history from the late Republic to the second century AD. I would welcome the chance to work collaboratively with colleagues at Birmingham, Nottingham, and Leicester in supervising PhD students as part of the Midlands 4Cities consortium, and have complementary interests to Hannah Cornwell, Henriette van der Blom (Birmingham), Simon Malloch, Alex Mullen (Nottingham).

Professional associations

  • British Epigraphy Society (President)
  • Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
  • British School at Rome (Co-Editor PBSR; Faculty Member, FAHL)
  • Classical Association
  • BA; MA; DPhil (St John's College, Oxford)

Drop in hours, Spring term 2024

Mondays 1-2; Fridays 2-3


Undergraduate modules:
  • Roman Culture and Society
  • The Roman Empire from Tiberius to Hadrian
  • The Transformation of Roman Society under Augustus
Postgraduate modules
  • Classical Epigraphy
  • Visual and Material Culture of the Ancient World (contributor)








 Blackwell Roman Italy