Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Dr Panayiotis Panayides


I have been a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Classics and a Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College since January 2018. Before moving to Oxford, I spent a year in Cyprus, working for the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, within the framework of the ‘Cyprus Archaeological Digitisation Programme’ (CADiP), based at the Cyprus Museum. In 2016, I was awarded a PhD on Roman Art and Archaeology in Durham University, with a thesis that was accepted with no corrections. Prior to that, I obtained an MA on Roman Archaeology at Durham University in 2012 with distinction, after having studied Classics at the University of Athens. 

Research Interests

My research interests revolve around the evolution of classical cities in Late Antiquity; the methodology I adopt places greater emphasis on a holistic investigation of material culture. One of the key elements for a nuanced understanding of the transformation of the Roman world into the Byzantine Empire is the fate of classical statues, an omnipresent and multifaceted element of the cities. In fact, that was the focus of my PhD, which collated and studied more than 300 statues excavated in late antique contexts in Cyprus for the first time. My aim was to ‘re-site’ the evidence back to its physical and mental contexts and re-construct to the extent possible the ancient experience. My interest in the transformation of urban culture was first fuelled during my MA studies, while surveying the practice of architectural reuse (spolia) in Cypriot Early Christian basilicas.

‘Statue Life in Late Antique Baths’ (Current Project)

My current research, generously funded by the British Academy, explores the reception of classical sculpture displayed in public bathing establishments in both halves of the Roman world by contemporary societies during Late Antiquity. Baths were used by men and women of various social and religious groups and continued displaying mythological statues long after the legalisation of Christianity (AD 313). This undiminished popularity of public bathing establishments to the end of antiquity offers the challenging opportunity to document and examine the changing attitudes of the communities to classical statuary, from display to destruction, in busy urban facilities that remained neutral in cultic terms. The project builds on the methodological approaches and practical skills I developed during my doctoral studies and sheds fresh light on the mentalities of the late antique societies, renewing our understanding of the processes that shaped Late Antiquity and eventually led to the demise of the classical world.



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