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Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis

Research Interests

  • Greek and Roman material culture C5th BC-C3rd AD
  • Greek religion, especially pilgrimage
  • Votive dedications in material form and in Hellenistic dedicatory epigrams
  • Landscape and Travel
  • ‘Classical bodies’, including those marginalized through disability, gender, social status and age
  • Intersection of literary and material cultures
  • Embodied and sensory approaches to the Humanities
  • The recovery of non elite voices
  • Reception of Classical material culture, especially C19th excavation and collecting in Greece
  • Modern receptions of Greek vases, especially two-dimensional images

My primary research focus is material culture and Greek Literature of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, particularly non elite voices in the areas of religion, travel and the body. I also work on Classical Reception in the C19th Ottoman empire. My work is characterized by cross-disciplinarity, especially the interfaces between the literary and the material, and the intellectual and the sensory.

Current Research

I am working on a monograph on C19th Ottoman and Western Engagements with Classical Material Culture. The book analyses local non elite engagements with antiquities and sets them against the activities of Grand Tour travellers. Albanian, Jewish and Turkish examples take their place next to the discourses and practices of Greek nation-building, as well as Western European groundbreaking excavation practices. 

I am editing two volumes of collected papers based on conferences I convened on the Reception of Greek Vases:

  • (with C. Meyer, Birkbeck College London) Picturing the Greek Vase: Classical Reception between Art and Science Visual Conversations in Art and Archaeology Series ed. J. Elsner (OUP, forthcoming 2018) The volume investigates the way that two-dimensional images of Greek vases have shaped our understanding of these objects. Greek vases are used as a case study to show that graphic images, including drawings, photographs and digitised reproductions, play a determining role in the production of archaeological knowledge. 
  • (with Edith Hall, King’s College London) Classical Pots and Class in Britain BICS themed issue (BICS themed issue, forthcoming 2019) The volume explores the reception of Classical Greek pots through the lens of social class and brings to prominence hitherto marginalized working-class and middle-class engagements with this area of classical material culture.

I am also working on a longer term project on ancient Greek votives.

Research Students

I am happy to supervise students working on any of the areas listed above under ‘Research Interests’. Please email me to discuss possible projects.


Truly beyond wonders: Aelius Aristides and the cult of Asklepios: Ancient Culture and Representation Series
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2010 Oxford University Press (India). 315 p.
Research output: ResearchBook


Undressing for Artemis: Sensory approaches to clothes dedications in Hellenistic Epigram and in the Cult of Artemis Brauronia
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2018 Gaze, Vision and Visuality in Ancient Greek Literature: Trends in Classics. Kampakoglou, A. & Novokhatko, A. (eds.). de Gruyter, Vol. 54, p. 418-463 45 p.
Research output: ResearchChapter

Palimpsest and Virtual Presence: A Reading of Space and Dedications at the Amphiareion at Oropos in the Hellenistic Period
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 3 Feb 2017 Excavating Pilgrimage: Archaeological Approaches to Sacred Travel and Movement in the Ancient World. Taylor and Francis, p. 106-129 24 p.
Research output: ResearchChapter

Between the Body and the Divine: Healing Votives from Classical and Hellenistic Greece
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2016 Ex-Voto. Votive Giving Across Cultures. Weinryb, I. (ed.). New York: Bard Graduate Center, p. 49-75 26 p.
Research output: ResearchChapter

The Body in the Landscape: Aristides' Corpus in Light of the Sacred Tales
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2008 Aelius Aristides between Greece, Rome, and the Gods. Brill, Vol. 33, p. 131-150 20 p. (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition; vol. 33)
Research output: ResearchChapter

Landscape, Transformation, and Divine Epiphany
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2007 Severan Culture. Swain, S., Harrison, S. & Elsner, J. (eds.). Cambridge University Press, p. 250-289 40 p.
Research output: ResearchChapter

Sacred Writing, Sacred Reading: the Function of Aelius Aristides’ Self-Presentation as Author in the Sacred Tales
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2006 The Limits of Ancient Biography. Mossman, J. & McGing, B. (eds.). Classical Press of Wales, p. 193-211 19 p.
Research output: ResearchChapter

Amphiaraos Present: Images of Healing Pilgrimage in Ancient Greece
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2006 Images and Presence: Essays on the ‘Presence’ of the Prototype within the Image. Shepherd, R. & Maniura, R. (eds.). Ashgate, p. 205-229 13 p.
Research output: ResearchChapter

The Body in Space: Visual Dynamics in Graeco-Roman Healing Pilgrimage
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2005 Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Antiquity: Seeing the Gods. Oxford University Press (India)
Research output: ResearchChapter


Classics and Politics
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2003 Omnibus, 46, p. 8-10 3 p.
Research output: ResearchArticle

Twenty-first century perspectives on The Parthenon
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2003 Journal of Hellenic Studies, 123, p. 191-196 6 p.
Research output: ResearchArticle

Narratives of transformation: pilgrimage patterns and authorial self-presentation in three pilgrimage texts
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2002 In : Journeys. 3, 1, p. 84-109 26 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle


Review of J. Downie, 2013. At the Limits of Art: A Literary Study of Aelius Aristides’ Hieroi Logoi. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2015 In : Journal of Hellenic Studies.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Review of R. Osborne, 2011. The History Written on the Classical Greek Body. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. Jan 2014 Journal of Hellenic Studies, 134, p. 231-232 2 p.
Research output: ResearchBook/Film/Article review

Review of C. Rowan, 2012. Under Divine Auspices: Divine Ideology and the Visualisation of Imperial Power in the Severan period, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2014 In : Journal of Roman Studies. 104, p. 280-281
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Review of I. Israelowich, 2012. Society, Medicine and Religion in the Sacred Tales of Aelius Aristides. Leiden: Brill.
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2014 In : Journal of Hellenic Studies. 134, p. 230-231
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Review of M. Squire, 2011. The Art of the Body: Antiquity and its Legacy. London; New York: I. B. Tauris.
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2012 Anglo-Hellenic Review, 45, p. 33
Research output: ResearchBook/Film/Article review

Review of C. Green and J. M. Daehner (eds.), 2011. Modern Antiquity. Picasso, De Chirico, Léger, Picabia. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum.
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. 2012 Anglo-Hellenic Review, 46, p. 30-31
Research output: ResearchBook/Film/Article review

Review of V. Kolocotroni and E. Mitsi (eds), 2008. Women writing Greece. Essays on Hellenism, Orientalism and Travel. Amsterdam; New York: Rodopi.
Petsalis-Diomidis, A. Feb 2010 In : Studies in Travel Writing . 14, 1, p. 104-107 4 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review



  • I lecture in sub-Honours Classical Studies modules CL2004 Culture and Thought in the Late Roman Republic and CL1005 Images of Augustan Rome
  • I teach in sub-Honours Greek modules, currently texts by Lucian and Longus
  • I offer an Honours module on Classical Bodies
  • I contribute to the MLitt programme in the areas of Classical Visual Culture and Reception.

Academic Career

I studied Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (MA 1995) and Byzantine and Classical Art History at the The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (MA 1996 and PhD 2001). I taught Roman Archaeology for a year at University College Dublin, and was then offered a permanent lectureship in Classics at the University of Nottingham, which I deferred to take up a Special Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2002-2005). Between 2005 and 2012 I took a career break bringing up my three children. During this time I worked part time, as a Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (2005-2017) while also doing some teaching stints at the University of Warwick (2008-2009) and at Birkbeck College (2011). From 2012-2016 I was lecturer in Classical Greek Art at King’s College London in addition to my position at Corpus Christi College and in 2017 I joined the School of Classics at St Andrews.

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