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Name: Andrew Fox

Thesis Title: Living Trophies: Trees, Triumphs, and the Subjugation of Nature in Early Imperial Rome

Department: Classics (University of Nottingham)


Thesis Description:

My inter-disciplinary project, combining Classics and Geography, explores the role and function of trees in the city of Rome and its environs, concentrating on the transitional period between Republic and Principate (c. 100 BC - AD 100). It takes evidence from a variety of sources, crossing archaeological, literary, and visual boundaries, in order to provide as complete a picture as possible of the role of trees in the ancient city, with a particular focus on their function in the triumphal procession and the conquest of new territories.

In order to better facilitate my research, I attended the City of Rome course at the British School in Rome from April to May 2016, during which time I analysed the usage of leaves in Rome's crowns, utilising the archival resources in Rome, particularly useful for the consultation of visual evidence.

At the early stages of my doctoral research, I began the compilation of a database, which collates the literary references to specific, named species of tree in Latin literature. This database, the Roman Trees Database will be made open access in the near future.


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Mark Bradley (University of Nottingham); Charles Watkins (University of Nottingham)

Conference Papers

Celtic Conference in Classics (McGill University/Université de Montréal)

20/07/17: Where the Wild Things Are: The Dacian Forest on Trajan’s Column.

The Memory of Trees

20/04/17: The Tree at the Heart of Rome: The Ruminal Fig Tree as a Natural Monument in Ancient Rome

Classical Association Conferences

09/04/16: Cupressus Advena: Pliny the Elder and the Naturalisation of Foreign Trees

University of Nottingham Classics Research Seminars

02/02/16: Tree vs. Timber: The Import of Cypress in Pliny the Elder

Landscape, Space, and Place Research Group (UoN)

24/02/16: Destruction of Landscapes in the Roman World

Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History (Newcastle University)

19/03/16: Creating a Wasteland: The Ramifications of Roman War on the Environment

Department of Classics PG Work In Progress Seminars (UoN)

13/10/14: Death of the ficus Ruminalis

21/05/15: Two-faced Legions: a numismatic source study

21/01/16: Pliny the Elder and the Cypress Tree


Autumn 2015: Latin Texts 3 (Apuleius’ Metamorphoses). Level 3 module, 10 hours of seminars.

Student Feedback: ‘Very approachable.’

‘Confident and communicates well.’

2015/16: informally joint led a Medieval Latin reading group, ‘Latin over Lunch’, providing beginners level language teaching to historians.

February 2016: Research led teaching - The Dacian Forest on Trajan's Column: Workshop for Q-Kolleg Programme between University of Nottingham and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Autumn 2016: Latin Texts 1/Advanced Latin 1 (Pliny’s Letters). Level 1/Level 3 module, 10 hours of seminars.

Student Feedback: ‘I found the classes interesting and educative.’

‘These lessons have been very helpful and I feel they have improved my understanding of grammar.’

‘He is good at explaining things.’

Nominated for a University of Nottingham Staff Oscar for ‘Teaching – Best All Rounder’.

Spring 2017: Latin Texts 4 (Cicero’s Pro Milone). Level 2 module, 10 hours of seminars.

Student Feedback: ‘Takes the time to explain things you don’t understand.’

‘Makes students feel at ease.’

Spring 2017: Virgil and the Epic Tradition. Level 3 module, 10 hours of seminars.

Autumn 2017: Latin Texts 3/Advanced Latin for Masters (Suetonius' Divus Claudius). Level 2/Level 4 module, 10 hours of seminars.

Autumn 2017: Latin Texts 5 (Suetonius' Divus Claudius and Tacitus' Annales). Level 3 module, 10 hours of seminars.


Impact and Outreach

Wonder 2017, University of Nottingham, 17th June 2017: Personal research on the crowns of the Roman Republic and Empire was presented to the local community at a public event.

PubHD Nottingham (September 2016)

Blog: Mint Imperials (2015, Nottingham) 'On this day in AD 68, the Emperor Nero committed suicide'

Blog: Mint Imperials (2015, Nottingham) 'On this day in AD175 Commodus took the toga virilis, the sign he had entered adulthood'


Other Research Interests:

  • Latin poetry
  • Provincial identity in the Western Roman Empire
  • Ancient drama
  • Eco-criticism


Social Media Presence: