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Marta Garcia Morcillo



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Personal profile


MA, PhD Ancient History (University of Barcelona)


I am an Ancient Historian who works mainly on the Roman Economy, with special focus on financial activities, marketing and economic decision-making. I also work on the Reception of Antiquity in modern visual cultures. I joined the University of Roehampton in September 2013. Previously I was Senior Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Heidelberg (2012-13). I have held lectureships and post-doc positions at the Universities of Wales TSD (Lampeter) (2010-12), Leicester (2008-09), Dresden (2006-08) and Heidelberg (2005-06).

Research interests

I am a Roman historian interested in the Roman Economy, Ancient Trade, Roman Law and Epigraphy. I also work on the reception of Antiquity in the performing and visual arts. My PhD (Barcelona, published in 2005) was devoted to the social and economic function of auction sales in the Roman world. My publications cover topics such as wealth and financial activities in ancient Rome, Roman law, ancient trade and marketing, social status, economic mentalities and decision-making. My Classical reception interest covers Carthage and modern imagination, the history of ancient and modern advertising. I have worked on ancient authors such as Cicero, Strabo and Pliny the Elder. I am co-editor of Managing Information in the Roman Economy (Palgrave-MacMillan 2021); Advertising Antiquity (special issue: thersites 2018); Ruin or Renewal? Places and the Transformation of memory in the City of Rome (Quasar: Rome 2016); Imagining Ancient Cities in Film: From Babylon to Cinecità (Routledge: London 2015, paperback 2019); Seduction and Power. Antiquity in the Visual and Performing Arts (Bloomsbury: London-NY 2013, paperback 2015); Hellas on Screen: Cinematic Receptions of Ancient History, Literature and Myth (Steiner: Stuttgart 2008); Imagines, La Antiguedad en las Artes Escenicas y Visuales (La Rioja 2008). 

I am co-editor of the book series RomeScapes. Social and Cultural Topographies of the City of Rome (Edizioni Quasar) and Studies in Ancient Corruption (de Gruyter).

I am happy to supervise original PhDs proposals on Ancient Roman economy, trade and material culture, on Roman law and urban life, on wealth and social status during the Roman Republic and the Principate. I am also pleased to consider PhD proposals on the reception of Antiquity in 19th, 20th and 21st century visual culture.

Research projects

Currently co-PI of "Twisted Transfers: Discoursive Constructions of Corruption in Ancient Greece and Rome", a UK-German collaborative project between the Universities of Roehampton and Potsdam (PI Filippo Carlà-Uhink), which has been awarded by the AHRC and the German Research Foundation (DFG) (2020-23). My colleague at Roehampton Shushma Malik is co-investigator of this project. 

Other ongoing projects include a book on Roman Auctions, an economic and social study of the Roman Art Market (funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, 2017-18), contributions on asymmetric information and behavioural economics in Ancient Rome, as well as a study on economic mentalities and practices in the work of the Early-Christian author Tertullian. I am also currently working on ancient and modern forms of marketing and advertising. I am member of the following collaborative research networks: Imagines (, a cross-disciplinary project on the reception of Antiquity in the Visual and Performing Arts; and RomeScapes, an international network that focuses on the perception of space(s) in the ancient city of Rome. I also collaborate with ANIHO/ANIWEH, a project that investigates the impact of Antiquity on the shaping of modern national identities (, and with 'The Real-Estate Market in the Roman World: An Economic Analysis (2nd c. BC to 2nd c. AD), a project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities  (HAR2016-76882-P, PI C. Rosillo) (2017-20).

Professional affiliations

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Member of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Roman Society, the Classical Association, the Economic History Society, The Royal Economic Society, The Society for the History of Collecting, and the Classical Reception Studies Network.


My teaching areas are the History of the Roman Empire, Social and Economic history of Ancient Rome, Roman material culture, the city of Rome, Pompeii, Roman Africa, Latin epigraphy, Roman financial history, trade and travel-writing in the Ancient Mediterranean, Roman law, Antiquity in modern visual culture, Classics and Cinema. My new 1st year module  'Ancient Explorations: Africa, Asia, Europe' focuses on Ancient travelling, geographical and scientific knowledge, and geographical imagination.



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