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Name: Alexander Thomas


PhD: Ancient History


Thesis Title:

Hegemony and Autonomy: Political Power in Late Classical and Hellenistic Sicily


Thesis Description:

Lying at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Sicily has since prehistoric times been inhabited and influenced by a bewildering array of different peoples and cultures. My project is a comparative study of the major powers which dominated the island in the fourth and third centuries BC: the rulers of Syracuse, Carthage, and then Rome. I want to move beyond a simplistic picture of Sicily as a mere battleground - a rich prize to be fought over by a succession of imperial powers - and of Sicilians as passive subjects of imperial rule. Adopting a postcolonial approach, my study will therefore not just consider the perspective of the hegemonic powers: it will also consider how power was experienced "on the ground" at the level of the polis (city-state). How much autonomy did the Sicilian poleis enjoy under the different hegemonic powers, and how was power negotiated between these powers and weaker states? Furthermore, how did earlier hegemonic practices influence the development, from 241 BC onwards, of Sicily as the Roman Republic's first regular overseas provincia (province)?

Supervisors and Institution(s):

Graham Shipley (University of Leicester)

Jack Lennon (University of Leicester)

Will Mack (University of Birmingham)


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:


  • Postgraduate course in Greek Numismatics at the British School at Athens.


Other Research Interests:

  • Roman Republican imperialism
  • The Hellenistic world




University email address:

Twitter: @Ale_X_Thomas 


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