I am a PhD student focusing on the Roman Empire in late antiquity. My thesis is on the presentation and image of the imperial family during the later empire, with particular attention towards instances in which the imperial family appeared together as a family unit, whether in public ceremonies and art or in private dinners. My PhD supervisors are Dr John Curran and Dr Laura Pfuntner.
My first encounter with the ancient world occurred in my last year of A Levels when I had to complete an assessment answering the age old question ‘Why did Rome fall?’ All of a sudden I found myself in a minefield of poor source survival, long standing historical debates and clashing ideological motives. This question made me engage with a historical subject more than I had ever been asked to do before and for the first time I felt like I had contributed to a larger discussion rather than simply regurgitate facts and dates for an exam. I kept coming back to the period throughout my Undergraduate degree in History at Queen’s and when, in 2019, I started my MA at Queen’s I fully committed myself to the study of late antiquity. In my recent studies I have been drawn towards the ideology of Roman rulers, especially how they understood, justified, and presented their own position from the early empire to the later period.