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Prof. Roger Rees

Professor of Latin
Deputy Head of School, Director of Research

Phone: 01334 462685

Room: S1

Research profile

Research Interests

  • Roman praise
  • Literature and history of late antiquity

The bulk of my past and current research has attempted to understand how and why praise functioned in Roman society, from the Republic through to late Antiquity. Who gave praise, to whom, in what context, why, and how did this change over time? Such questions have taken me to a wide range of sources, mainly literary, across many genres and centuries. Because context is crucial to appreciation of the dynamics of praise, I have spent a fair amount of time considering historical issues too. My abiding focus is a late antique collection of Latin panegyrical speeches, but I have enjoyed regular research ‘digressions’, such as on the emperor Diocletian, the historian Ammianus Marcellinus, and the British poet Ted Hughes.

Current Research

  • My commentary on a speech of praise addressed to the Roman emperor Theodosius in 389CE is due out with Cambridge UP  in Spring 2020. This work has been undertaken within the Panegyrici Latini collaborative project.
  • With Bruce Gibson (Liverpool), I am editing a collection of articles about ‘Constantinian Praise’.
  • With Jan Willem Drijvers (Groningen), I am writing a commentary on PanLat XII(9) to Constantine.
  • I am also currently writing a biography of the emperor Diocletian for Princeton UP.

Research Students

  • I have supervised research degrees on Tetrarchic Palace architecture, the emperor Claudius, Vergil’s Georgics, Propertius’ Monobiblos, Southern African classical education, Firmicus Maternus and Libanius.
  • I am currently co-supervising research degrees on Carolingian court poetry, Nonnus, Servius, and late antique literary representations of tyranny.
  • I welcome interest in research degrees in late antique history and literature, within or outwith the Panegyrici Latini project. Please feel free to get in touch by email to discuss your research interests and ambitions, whatever your current stage.


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


  • I regularly lecture to sub-Honours Classical Studies modules on Augustan society and Roman Republican Intellectual culture. I occasionally lecture to sub-Honours Ancient History modules on the later Roman Empire.
  • I regularly teach in sub-Honours Latin modules, on a range of authors from the late Republic to late antiquity.
  • I contribute to team-taught Honours Latin modules such as Historical Writing, Letters, Didactic, Epic, and Oratory.
  • I currently offer a Classical Studies Honours module on ‘Roman Praise’, and Latin modules on ‘Constantinian Latin’ and ‘Theodosian Latin’.
  • I regularly contribute to the MLitt programme.
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My first degree was from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (1987-90). I was a schoolteacher for four years before studying for my PhD, at St Andrews (1994-7). I held lectureships at Newcastle (1997), St Andrews (1998), Trinity Dublin (1998-9) and Edinburgh (1999-2006) before returning to St Andrews.

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