My name is Chris Dickenson. I carry out research into the culture, politics and society of the ancient Greeks and Romans (for my publications see here). I oscillate between thinking of myself as an ancient historian or archaeologist – I’m mainly addressing historical questions but unlike a lot of ancient historians I do so primarily through material culture. On the other hand unlike most archaeologists I’m not engaged in fieldwork (though I have been).
My work up to now has focussed mainly on ancient public spaces because I feel that there is still an enormous amount that we still don’t know about how people in ancient societies used their squares, streets, bathhouses, theatres and other public spaces – about how they interacted with one another and with the building and monuments that made up these spaces. My interest in the subject began with a PhD thesis on the use of the Greek agora in Hellenistic and Roman times, has of which I’ve reworked as a monograph that appeared last year.
I’m from the UK but am currently based in Denmark where I’m employed as an assistant professor at Urbnet, Centre for Urban Networks Evolutions, which is part of the University of Aarhus. Before this I worked in Oxford for a few year (as Marie Curie Fellow on a project about statues and other monuments in Roman Greece) and before that I lived in the Netherlands for fifteen years. I’ve also spent a lot of time in Greece for work and for fun. My positive experiences of being able to freely move around Europe and seeing how certain things are done differently in different countries makes me despair at certain recent political developments in the UK.
In my time at Oxford I wrote a blog about my research and other matters which is still online but I decided to start this new blog because my research interests had moved on and because I don’t want to write exclusively about ancient history. So, while I’m planning to post mainly about Greek and Roman culture I also expect from time to time to write about other things – not things I pretend to be an expert on, but things I happen to find interesting or important. If you’re curious where I got the title for the blog you can find out here.