Dr Lucy Grig (BA, MA, PhD)
Senior Lecturer; Roman History
I was an undergraduate in History at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where my studies took me from classical Athens to modern Europe. I then took my MA in Medieval Studies at the University of York but decided to return to Cambridge for my PhD, this time in the Classics Faculty, finding my natural home in the world of Late Antiquity. I taught at the University of Reading from 2000-1 and from 2002-4, while I was lucky enough to be Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome in 2001-2. I came to Edinburgh as a Lecturer in 2004 and have since enjoyed teaching ancient history at all levels, with occasional forays into other areas of Classics. I have been a Senior Lecturer since 2014. I have three children who get dragged around as many ancient sites as I can manage, in all weathers.
Responsibilities & affiliations
I am Area Editor for Late Antiquity of the Oxford Classical Dictionary and a member of editorial board of the journal 'Early Medieval Europe'.
I am also a member of the Standing Committee member of the Council of UK Classics Departments
- Roman World 1a
- Roman World 1b
- Transformation of the Roman World, ca. 200-800: Towards Byzantium and the Early Medieval West
- Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History
- Ancient Popular Culture (Honours)
- The World of St Augustine (Honours)
- Examining Classics: past present and future (Honours)
- A Topic in Late Antique and Byzantine History: Cultural History of the Latin West
- Late Antique Visual Culture
- Voluntary Death and Martyrdom in the Ancient World
Open to PhD supervision enquiries?
Current PhD students supervised
Name - Degree - Thesis topic - Supervision type
Bersani, Beatrice - PhD - The colours of God: Polychromatic imagery for the divine in late antique Latin poetry. - Secondary
Lazzoni, Clara - PhD - Seeing texts, reading images: approach to late antique concrete poetry based on Optatian. - Secondary
Past PhD students supervised
Name - Degree - Thesis topic - Supervision type
Cleary, Nicole - PhD - Jerome on the attack - Joint - awarded 2015
Imrie, Alex - MScR - Roman Numismatics - Secondary - awarded 2011
Imrie, Alex - PhD - Caracalla and the Constitutio Antoniniana - Secondary - awarded 2015
Ingle, Gabriela - PhD - The significance of dining in late Roman and early Christian funerary rites and tomb decoration - Primary - 2017
John, Alison - PhD- Learning and power: a cultural history of education in Late Antique Gaul - Secondary - awarded 2018
Lauritsen, Taylor - PhD - Doors and Domestic Space at Pompeii - Secondary - awarded 2012
Penn, Tim - PhD - Beyond the grace: the funerary landscapes of the Italian peninsula, ca. 1-700 CE - Secondary - 2022
Sandon, Tatjana - PhD - The freedwoman in the Roman world: the evidence of the Latin inscriptions - Secondary - awarded 2017
Smith, Natalie - PhD - Production of Christian sacred space in fourth-century Jerusalem - Secondary - awarded 2022
Thorp, Thaddeus - Earning the fruits of honour: a study of social mobility among the freeborn sub-elite in the Roman West - Secondary - awarded 2022
Thostenson, Kathryn - PhD - Sexed, not sexual bodies: Tertullian's Anthropology of Sexual Difference - Primary - awarded 2019
Tsartsidis, Thomas - PhD - Prudentius Peristephanon 10 - Secondary - awarded 2017
Washington, Belinda - PhD - Empresses in the ate Roman world - Secondary - awarded 2016
- Near East
- Ancient Civilisations
- Language & Literature
- Material Culture
I am historian of the society, culture and religion of the Roman world, with a particular focus on Late Antiquity. My research takes in both literary and material culture from across the Mediterranean world (for instance I have published on poetry and glassware, sermons and paintings).
Current research interestsIn recent years I have worked substantially on popular culture in the ancient world, an exciting but massively understudied subject. This project is twofold: firstly looking at the methodological problem of locating a putative ‘popular culture’ in the ancient world and secondly looking at the transformation of this popular culture in Late Antiquity, as part of the transformation of the classial world. Publications arising from this project are 1) the edited volume, ‘Popular Culture in the Ancient World’ (Cambridge University Press, 2017)which looks at the subject from a diverse range of approaches and takes in an eclectic selection of ancient sources. 2) the monograph 'Popular Culture and the End of Antiquity in Southern Gaul, c. 400-550', (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in 2024), part-funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship in 2016-17), which looks at the transformation of popular culture in its social and economic contexta with a particular focus on the city of Arles and its surrounding region. I am continuing to work on projects related to popular culture in Late Antiquity, as well as developing a new broader project on subaltern agency in ancient and late ancient religion. I am one of the co directors of the Edinburgh Centre for Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies.
Past research interestsPrevious work has focused on a number of themes, with reference to both literary and material and visual culture, including - urban history, particularly that of the city of Rome in Late Antiquity. - the cult of the saints, hagiography and the history of early and late ancient Christianity more widely
I have appeared on 'In Our Time' on BBC Radio 4. on programmes discussing Aesop and the emperor Constantine. I have also appeared on 'Free Thinking' on BBC Radio 3 discussing donkeys (to work out the connection it helps to read Aesop's Fables).
Affiliated research centres
I am currently working on popular culture in the ancient world, an exciting but massively understudied subject. This project is twofold. Firstly it looks at the methodological problem of locating a putative ‘popular culture’ in the ancient world. Secondly it asks if Late Antiquity saw a development of a new popular culture and investigates the role of Christianity in this process.
I have published an edited volume, ‘Popular Culture in the Ancient World’ (with Cambridge University Press) in 2017, which looks at the subject from a diverse range of approaches and taking in an eclectic selection of ancient sources. The second ( which was funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship) is ongoing, entitled ‘Popular Culture and the End of Antiquity in Southern Gaul, c. 400-550 ’, it looks at the transformation of popular culture in its social and economic context with a particular focus on the city of Arles and its surrounding region.
Watch a short video of Dr Grig speaking about her research interests - Media Hopper
The list below is a subset of the information held on the University of Edinburgh PURE system, and includes Books, Chapters, Articles and Conference contributions. For a full list, including details of other publication types (e.g. reviews), please see the Edinburgh Research Explorer page for Dr Lucy Grig.
Books - Authored
Grig, L. (2004) Making Martyrs in Late Antiquity. London: Gerald Duckworth & Co.
Books - Edited
Grig, L. and Kelly, G. (eds.) (2012) Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity. New York: Oxford University Press
Grig, L. (2018) Caesarius of Arles and the campaign against popular culture in late antiquity. Early Medieval Europe, 26(1), pp. 61-81DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/emed.12248
Grig, L. (2013) Cities in the ‘long’ Late Antiquity, 2000–2012 – a survey essay. Urban History, 40(3), pp. 554 - 566DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0963926813000369
Grig, L. (2004) Portraits, Pontiffs and the Christianization of Fourth-Century Rome. Papers of the British School at Rome, 72, pp. 203-230
Grig, L. (2018) Life and death in Late Antiquity: Religious rituals and popular culture. In: Lössl, J. and J. Nicholas, B. (eds.) A Companion to Religion in Late Antiquity. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 455-473
Grig, L. (2017) 'A Popular Culture'. In: Césaire d'Arles et les cinq continents. Venelles: Assocation aux Sources de la Provence, pp. 180-185
Grig, L. (2017) Cultural capital and Christianization: The metrical inscriptions of Late Antique Rome. In: Bolle, K., Machado, C. and Witschel, C. (eds.) The Epigraphic Cultures of Late Antiquity. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, pp. 427-447
Grig, L. (2017) Introduction: Approaching popular culture in the ancient world. In: Grig, L. (ed.) Popular Culture in the Ancient World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-36
Grig, L. (2016) Interpreting the Kalends of January: A case study for late antique popular culture?. In: Grig, L. (ed.) Popular Culture in the Ancient World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 237-256
Grig, L. (2013) The Bible in popular and non-literary culture. In: Joachim, S. and Carleton Paget, J. (eds.) The New Cambridge History of the Bible: From the Beginnings to 600. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Grig, L. (2013) Approaching popular culture: Singing in the sermons of Caesarius of Arles. In: Studia Patristica: Vol. LXIX - Papers presented at the Sixteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies held in Oxford 2011., pp. 197-204
Grig, L. (2012) Competing Capitals, Competing Representations: Late antique cityscapes in words and pictures. In: Grig, L. and Kelly, G. (eds.) Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 31-52
Grig, L. and Kelly, G. (2012) Introduction: From Rome to Constantinople. In: Grig, L. and Kelly, G. (eds.) Two Romes. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-30
Grig, L. (2009) Imagining the Capitolium in Late Antiquity. In: Lenski, N. and Cain, A. (eds.) The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity. Ashgate Publishing, pp. 279-291
Grig, L. (2006) Throwing parties for the poor: poverty and splendour in the late antique church. In: Margaret Atkins, R. (ed.) Poverty in the Roman World. Cambridge University Press, pp. 145-161