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Dr Jonathan C N Coulston

Senior lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology
Examinations officer

Phone: 01334 462612

Room: S14

Research profile

Research Interests

  • Roman Army studies
  • Roman military equipment
  • Ancient warfare
  • Roman provincial archaeology
  • Trajan's Column
  • Roman art (especially stone sculpture)
  • Roman architecture
  • The City of Rome.
  • Asiatic steppe nomads
  • Conflict landscape archaeology

Current research projects

My principal publication project is a monograph dealing with the architecture, sculpting and relief content of Trajan’s Column in Rome (All the Emperor’s Men. Roman Soldiers and Barbarians on Trajan’s Column). With Lindsey Allason-Jones (Newcastle) I am compiling the Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani fascicule for Northern England. With Hazel Dodge and Christopher Smith I am writing a source-book for Routledge concerned with the ancient city of Rome. The updated and considerably expanded second edition of Roman Military Equipment from the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome appeared in 2006. I have also been publishing papers in two specific and expanding academic areas: gladiatorial studies, and conflict landscape (‘battlefield’) archaeology.

Editorial committees: Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies; Gladius. Estudios sobre armas antiguas, armamento, arte military y vida cultural en oriente y occidente (Madrid).
I am also a member of the administrative committee for the Roman Military Equipment Conferences (RoMEC).

Invited papers read at universities and to conferences at Aberystwyth, Amsterdam, Budapest, Capri, Chattanooga, Dublin, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Honolulu, København, Leiden, Leuven, Liverpool, Louisville, Mainz, Marburg, Montpellier, München, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Ontario, Osnabrück, Oxford, Philadelphia, Roma, Ruse, Schleswig, St Andrews, Segovia, Sheffield, South Shields, Warsaw, Wien, Windisch and Zagreb

I have contributed as an advisor and ‘talking head’ to numerous radio and television programmes (Time Watch, Terry Jones’ Barbarians etc.), and have consulted on archaeological reconstructions for National Geographic Magazine.

Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (1995) and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2003).


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

Research students

I would be happy to supervise suitable students in the areas implied by my research interests, especially in Roman military matters.


In addition to team-teaching Sub-Honours courses in Greek and Roman history, I offer the following one-semester Honours modules: The Ancient City of Rome (AN4121), The Roman Army (AN4130), Roman Imperial Art (AN4117), The Archaeology of Roman Britain (AN4145) and Principles and Techniques of Archaeology (AN3020). The latter is the core module for the joint degrees in Ancient History and Archaeology, and Mediaeval History and Archaeology. I also administer fourth year dissertations across the School of Classics, contribute to graduate core teaching, and offer a series of themed graduate modules.

Academic Career

I graduated in 1978 from the University of Leicester with a BA in History, then went on to study for an MPhil (Archaeology of the Roman Empire,1980) and a PhD (1988) at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. My research concerned Trajan's Column in Rome, under the supervision of Charles Daniels. Thereafter I was a tutor in the Centre for Continuing Education and a Guest Lecturer in the Dept of Archaeology at Newcastle. In 1995 I was appointed to my present post as Lecturer in Ancient History in the University of St Andrews. Since 2005 I have been a Research Associate in the Department of Classics, Trinity College Dublin.


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