Professor Ray Laurence
Professor of Roman History and Archaeology
- +44(0)1227 827423
Office: Cornwallis North West 160
Ray Laurence joined Kent in 2010. He is a specialist in Roman History. He set up the first Kent programmes in Rome – Ancient History and Roman History & Archaeology. Having studied in Rome during his work for his PhD, he devised new programmes that utilised the possibilities of on-site study in Rome. His research has spanned a number of major topics: Pompeii, roads and communications, the Roman city in the west, as well as the study of Roman conceptions of aging and age-related behaviours. He currently has a fieldwork project in Rome to identify the geological source of paving stones found in Trajan’s markets. In addition, he is embarking on a new research project to investigate urban space in ancient Rome. Students on the programmes in Rome will regularly engage with Ray’s research projects past and present that to date have included the publication of 16 books. Since joining Kent, he has been Head of Classical and Archaeological Studies and is currently Faculty Director of Research and Enterprise. Previously he worked at the Universities of Birmingham and Reading.
Engagement with the wider public through the media
Ray has been directly involved in the development of scripts for TV docu-dramas. He worked with the TV production company Shine to develop two programmes in the innovative SkyOne series When in Rome. The brief Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels meets Rome produced the first TV programme on Augustan Rome with an edge to it. With Alex Butterworth, he worked as a consultant on The Private Lives of Pompeii, made by Illuminations TV - a collaboration that was extended to produce the book Pompeii: The Living City, which won the Longman History Today New Generation prize for the book most likely to inspire young adults to study history. Ray is also an author of popular books, most recently The Travellers Guide to the Ancient World: Rome and Its Environs (The Roman Empire) and articles in magazines such as History Today, BBC History, Ad Familiares and Omnibus.
Ray was awarded the 2015 Faculty of Humanities Teaching Prize. You can see one of his lectures, ‘The Roman Empire: Migration & Mobility’, on YouTube https://youtu.be/-aDS_mm7580 or listen to ‘The Old Roman Emperor – Augustus’ Empire without End (AD 4-14)’ http://www.kent.ac.uk/events/esteem/archive/laurence-ray.html. He also has a blog called ‘Lucius Romans’ aimed at students developing interests in Roman History, including animated films and key evidence from antiquity for how we know about life 2000 years ago https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/lucius-romans/.
back to top
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
Ray teaches on a variety of modules in Roman History built around his research interests. In 2015, he was awarded the Faculty of Humanities Teaching Prize. You can see one of his lectures, ‘The Roman Empire: Migration & Mobility’, on YouTube https://youtu.be/-aDS_mm7580 or listen to ‘The Old Roman Emperor – Augustus’ Empire without End (AD 4-14)’ http://www.kent.ac.uk/events/esteem/archive/laurence-ray.html. He also has a blog that provides resources for the study of Roman History, alongside films about life in Rome https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/lucius-romans/.back to top