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Dr Myles Lavan

Senior lecturer in Ancient History
Director of Postgraduate Studies

mpl2@st-andrews.ac.uk

Phone: 01334 462610

Room: C22

Research profile

Research Interests

  • Political, social and cultural history of the Roman empire
  • Roman citizenship
  • Ideology and language of empire
  • Quantitative methods in ancient history
  • Roman historiography, especially Tacitus
  • Comparative history of ancient empires

Current research projects

My main focus is a project to quantify the spread of Roman citizenship from Augustus to Caracalla and to rethink the history of citizenship in that period. The project centers on a novel, probabilistic approach to uncertainty in historical estimation. The initial phase was supported by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (2014-15). I have published the methodology and the preliminary results in an article in P&P 2016. More detail will be forthcoming in further articles and eventually a monograph. 

I am collaborating with Christopher Whitton on a ‘Green and Yellow’ commentary on Tacitus Annals 14 for Cambridge University Press. I am also working to expand on Slaves to Rome (Cambridge, 2013) with a number of article-length studies further exploring how the Roman elite conceptualized and represented their imperial project.

Research Students

I would be very happy to supervise research projects in the areas listed above and on other aspects of Roman history and Latin literature. I have supervised PhD dissertations on:

  • Images of foreign peoples and place in Roman art
  • Writing the lives of Roman emperors
  • Roman land division
  • Actor Network Theory analysis of Early Roman Iberia
  • The Triumviral aristocracy

Publications

Cosmopolitanism and empire: Universal rulers, local elites and cultural integration in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean - forthcoming
Lavan, M. P. (ed.), Weisweiler, J. (ed.) & Payne, R. (ed.) 2016 Oxford University Press. (Oxford Studies in Early Empires)
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Slaves to Rome: Paradigms of Empire in Roman Culture
Lavan, M. P. 2013 Cambridge University Press. (Cambridge Classical Studies)
Research output: Book/ReportBook

 

Writing revolt in the early Roman empire - forthcoming
Lavan, M. P. 2016 The Routledge History Handbook of Medieval Revolt. Firnhaber-Baker, J. & Schoenaers, D. (eds.). Routledge
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The empire of letters: Book 10 of Pliny’s Letters and imperial correspondence - forthcoming
Lavan, M. P. 2016 Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian. König, A. & Whitton, C. (eds.).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

‘Father of the whole human race’: Ecumenical language and the limits of elite integration in the early Roman empire - forthcoming
Lavan, M. P. 2016 Cosmopolitanism and empire: Universal rulers, local elites and cultural integration in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. Lavan, M., Payne, R. & Weisweiler, J. (eds.). Oxford University Press, (Oxford Studies in Early Empires)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Cosmopolitan politics: The assimilation and subordination of elite cultures - forthcoming
Lavan, M. P., Weisweiler, J. & Payne, R. 2016 Cosmopolitanism and empire: Universal rulers, local elites and cultural integration in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. Lavan, M., Payne, R. & Weisweiler, J. (eds.). Oxford University Press
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The empire in the age of Nero
Lavan, M. P. 2013 A Companion to the Neronian Age. Buckley, E. & Dinter, M. (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell, p. 65-82 (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

The spread of Roman citizenship 14-212 CE: quantification in the face of high uncertainty
Lavan, M. P. 1 Feb 2016 In : Past & Present. 230, 1, p. 3-46
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Florus and Dio on the enslavement of the provinces
Lavan, M. P. Dec 2013 In : Cambridge Classical Journal. 59, p. 125-151
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Slavishness in Britain and Rome in Tacitus’ Agricola
Lavan, M. P. May 2011 In : The Classical Quarterly. 61, 1, p. 294-305
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Slaves to Rome: The rhetoric of mastery in Titus’ Speech to the Jews (Bellum Judaicum 6.238-50)
Lavan, M. P. 2008 In : Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature. 36, 1, p. 25-38 14 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

The New Green-and-Yellow of Agricola (on A. J. Woodman, ed., with Christina S. Kraus, Tacitus: Agricola)
Lavan, M. P. 2015 In : Histos. 9, p. xxxix-xlv
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Roman death
Lavan, M. P. Mar 2014 In : Classical Review. 64, 1, p. 231 232 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Keith Bradley and Paul Cartledge. The Cambridge world history of slavery. Volume 1. The ancient Mediterranean world, Cambridge, 2011.
Lavan, M. P. 2014 In : Journal of Roman Studies. 104, p. 289-90
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Kyle Harper. Slavery in the Late Roman world, AD 275-425. Cambridge 2011
Lavan, M. P. 2013 In : Classical Review. 63, p. 552-5
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Carlos Noreña. Imperial Ideals in the Roman West: Representation, Circulation, Power. Cambridge 2011.
Lavan, M. P. 2013 In : Classical Review. 63, p. 214-16
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Eric Adler. Valorizing the Barbarians: Enemy Speeches in Roman Historiography. Austin 2011
Lavan, M. P. 13 Jan 2012 In : TLS, The Times Literary Supplement.
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Josaiah Osgood, Claudius Caesar: Image and power in the early Roman empire. Cambridge. 2010.
Lavan, M. P. 2012 In : Journal of Roman Studies. 102, p. 319-20
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Robin Nadeau, Les manières de table dans le monde gréco-romain. Rennes/Tours 2010
Lavan, M. P. 2012 In : Classical Review. 62
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Dylan Sailor. Writing and empire in Tacitus. Cambridge 2008
Lavan, M. P. 2011 In : Journal of Roman Studies. 101, p. 296-7
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Philp Parker. The empire stops here. London 2009
Lavan, M. P. 12 Jan 2010 In : TLS, The Times Literary Supplement.
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Eric Gunderson. Nox Philologiae: Aulus Gellius and the Fantasy of the Roman Library. Madison Wis., 2009.
Lavan, M. P. 2010 In : Phoenix. Journal of the Classical Association of Canada. 64, p. 451-3
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Aron Sjöblad. Metaphors Cicero Lived By. Lund, 2009
Lavan, M. P. 2010 In : Bryn Mawr Classical Review. 2010
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Maurice Sartre. Histoires Greques: Snapshots from Antiquity. Harvard, 2009
Lavan, M. P. 1 May 2009 In : TLS, The Times Literary Supplement.
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

 

For further information on publications, please view my profile on the university's research portal.

Teaching

  • Honours modules on Ancient Empires, The Culture of Roman Imperialism, Roman Slavery and Death in Roman Culture 
  • Contributions to team-taught Honours Latin modules on Latin Letters and Latin Historical Writing. 
  • Contributions to the team-taught sub-Honours programmes in Ancient History and Latin Literature.

Academic career

My first degree was a BA in Classics from Trinity College Dublin (1995-9). I then went astray for five years – studying international politics and economics at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (1999-2001) and working as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co (2001-4) – before eventually seeing the error of my ways. I returned to Classics and completed an MPhil and PhD at Cambridge (2004-8). I was a Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (2008-10) and came to St Andrews in September 2010.

I am on the editorial board of the Journal of Roman Studies (2014-) and the Council of the Classical Association of Scotland (2013-).

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