Portrait of Dr Ada Nifosi

Dr Ada Nifosi

Lecturer in Ancient History


Dr Ada Nifosi started her academic studies in Italy. She gained a BA in Classical Archaeology from the University of Padua in 2006, an MA in Egyptian Archaeology from the University of Bologna in 2008 and an MPhil in Egyptian Archaeology, also from Bologna, in 2012. 

Ada started teaching at the University of Kent in 2012 where she also obtained her PGCHE in 2014. In March 2015 she was awarded the Faculty of Humanities Research Prize for Postgraduate Research for her study of a group of Egyptian amulets at the Beaney Museum of Art and Knowledge in Canterbury. She submitted her doctoral thesis at the University of Kent in August 2015.

Research interests

Ada's current research focuses on the social and legal status of women in the Greco-Roman world. Her second book is entitled Becoming a Woman and Mother in Greco-Roman Egypt (Routledge 2019) and is an interdisciplinary study of women in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt investigating the cultural, social and legal changes to women’s status brought by the Greeks in the Hellenistic Period and later, to a lesser degree, by the Romans. It analyses the status of Greco-Egyptian women through the study of the three key phases of their life-cycles: coming of age at puberty, menstruation and childbirth. 

Ada also researches and publishes on children in Ancient Egypt and in the Greco-Roman world. In particular she is interested in their agency in play and religious rituals as well as their role in temples and urban festivals. 

Ada is a member of the Artefacts and Society and the Health, Wellbeing and the Senses research clusters.   


Ada teaches ancient history, Egyptology, archaeology, Ancient Greek and Latin.



  • Nifosi, A. (2019). Becoming a Woman and Mother in Greco-Roman Egypt: Women’s Bodies, Society and Domestic Space. [Online]. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/Becoming-a-Woman-and-Mother-in-Greco-Roman-Egypt-Womens-Bodies-Society/Nifosi/p/book/9781138099852.
    How did Greco-Roman Egyptian society perceive women’s bodies and how did it acknowledge women’s reproductive functions? Detailing women’s lives in Greco-Roman Egypt this monograph examines understudied aspects of women's lives such as their coming of age, social and religious taboos of menstruation, and birth rituals. It investigates medical, legal and religious aspects of women's reproduction, using both historical and archaeological sources, and shows how the social status of women and new-born children changed from the Dynastic to the Greco-Roman period.

    Through a comparative and interdisciplinary study of the historical sources, papyri, artefacts and archaeological evidence, Becoming a Woman and Mother in Greco-Roman Egypt shows how Greek, Roman, Jewish and Near Eastern cultures impacted on the social perception of female puberty, childbirth and menstruation in Greco-Roman Egypt from the 3rd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D.
  • Nifosi, A. (2009). Catalogo Degli Amuleti Di Bakchias (1994-2007). [Online]. La Mandragora Editrice. Available at: http://www.unilibro.it/libro/nifosi-ada/catalogo-amuleti-bakchias-1994-2007-/9788875862305.
  • Nifosi, A. (2009). Catalogo Degli Amuleti Di Bakchias. Editrice La Mandragora.
    Il presente lavoro si propone di studiare gli amuleti rinvenuti nel sito di Bakchias a partire dalla seconda campagna di scavo del 1994 fino alla sedicesima del 2007 e di farne il catalogo. Gli amuleti ritrovati a Bakchias appartengono per la maggior parte al periodo che va dall’inizio dell’epoca tolemaica alla piena età romana. Si tratta di una classe di materiali che ad una prima impressione può apparire di secondaria importanza: in realtà, essa può dare molte informazioni a partire dai dati storico-religiosi fino a quelli socio-economici.


  • Nifosi, A. (2019). Review of Kristine Bøggild Johannsen​, Jane Hjarl Petersen (ed.), Family Lives: Aspects of Life and Death in Ancient Families. Acta hyperborea, 15. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2019. Pp. 341. ISBN 9788763546393. $61.00. Bryn Mawr Classical Review [Online]:1-1. Available at: http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2019/2019-11-42.html.
  • Nifosi, A. (2018). THE CONSTRUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY - (D.) Frankfurter Christianizing Egypt. Syncretism and Local Worlds in Late Antiquity. Pp. xxii + 314, ills, map, colour pls. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2018. Cased, £30, US$39.95. ISBN: 978-0-691-17697-0. The Classical Review [Online]:253-255. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009840X18001786.
  • Nifosi, A. (2015). PROPHETESSES - J. Guillermo Sibyls. Prophecy and Power in the Ancient World. Pp. 237, map, colour pls. New York and London: Overlook Duckworth, 2013. Cased, £18.99, US$26.95. ISBN: 978-0-7156-4304-4 (978-1-4683-0684-2 US). The Classical Review [Online] 65:533-534. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009840X15000177.
Last updated