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Professor Morley's main research interests are in the economic, social and ecological history of classical antiquity, particularly trade, demography, urbanisation and agriculture; in the reception of antiquity in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century economic and social thought, especially the critiques of modernity developed by Marx and Nietzsche; and in theoretical and philosophical approaches to historiography, including its narrative structures and rhetorical techniques.
He has recently written Antiquity and Modernity, on the mutual interdependence of those concepts during the 'long nineteenth century' (Blackwell, 2008), and The Roman Empire: roots of imperialism (Pluto Press, 2010) about Roman imperialism and its modern reception and influence. He is currently leading the four-year AHRC-funded research project on Thucydides: reception, reinterpretation and influence, which will include the production of a Handbook to the Reception of Thucydides and a monograph on Thucydides and the Idea of History.
Topics studied by his past and present research students include the city in Britain and Gaul in late antiquity, the nature of the economic crisis of the third century, mos maiorum in Livy's account of the Hannibalic War, the reception of Thucydides in 18th century France and in 20th century strategic studies, the image of Sparta in the thought of Montaigne and the influence of ancient accounts of plague on modern representations of disease. Professor Morley would be happy to discuss potential PhD research on any aspect of ancient economic and social history or historical theory.
This year he is teaching Approaches to Ancient History, World of Late Antiquity, Legacy of Classical Literature and Ecology & History. .
Full list of publications.
For the text of Professor Morley's inaugural address (20 January 2010), click here (pdf, 190 kb).