Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Birmingham
Website URL
Ancient History, Roman History, Political ideology, Roman Peace, International Relations, Diplomacy, Urban studies, material culture, numismatics, epigraphy
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Personal Info

About Me

Hannah Cornwell is a Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests focus on socio-political history of the Roman Republic and Empire, with a particular interest in the nature of Roman imperialism, and Roman attitudes towards their position as a political power in the Mediterranean.

Her first book, Pax and the Politics of Peace (OUP, 2017), examines the two generations that spanned the collapse of the Republic and the Augustan period in order to understand how the concept of pax Romana, as a central ideology of Roman imperialism, evolved. She argue for the integral nature of pax (‘peace’) in understanding the changing dynamics of the Roman state through civil war to the creation of a new political system and world-rule. Roman discourses on peace were part of the wider discussion on the way in which Rome conceptualized her Empire and ideas of imperialism.

She has also published several papers  on the language of peace in civil war, and the construction of political opponents as enemies in civil war. Besides a specific focus on the language of peace, She has published on the reactions to Roman imperialism, examining the geo-political situation of the western Alps under Augustus, and the elite response to imperial power.

She currently holds a three year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, which examines the production of space as a means of understanding diplomacy as a social practice in the Roman world. This study focuses on the architectural and urban spaces of the city of Rome as a site of diplomatic practice, in order the examine the social interactions through which Rome, as a political entity, communicated and maintained her position in the Mediterranean. She has recently applied this research to contemporary debates over the nuclear missile debate between America and North Korea and Brexit as points of brinkmanship and negotiation respectively, for the BBC Radio 4 history programme When Greeks Flew Kites



Recent Publications

‘Die Pax Romana und die Idee von einem Imperium – Frieden in der Römischen Antike’, in Antike Welt. Zeitschrift für Archäologie und Kultergeschichte 3.18, 17-21 (2018)

Pax and the Politics of Peace: Republic to Principate. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2017)

Routes of Resistance to Integration: Alpine Reactions to Roman Power’ in R. Varga and V. Rusu-Bolindeț (eds.) Official Power and Local Elites in the Roman Provinces, London: Routledge (2017), ch. 4.

‘Negotiating ideas of peace in the civil conflicts of the late Republic’ in E. P. Moloney and M. S. Williams (eds.) Peace and Reconciliation in the Classical World, London: Routledge (2017), ch. 6.

‘The King who would be Prefect: Authority and Identity in the Cottian Alps’, Journal of Roman Studies 105, 41-72 (2015).

‘The Role of The Role of the Peace-Makers (caduceatores) in Roman attitudes to War and Peace’, in G. Lee, H. Whittaker and G. Wrightson (eds.) Ancient Warfare: Introducing Current Research, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2015), 331-348.


A Place for Peace in a Time of War’, in A. Powell and A. Burnett (eds.) Coinage of the Roman Revolution Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales (forthcoming).

‘The construction of one’s enemies in civil war’, in R. Westall (ed.) A House Divided:   Trinity College Dublin: Hermanthea (forthcoming).

‘The Production of Diplomacy Space in Ancient Rome’ in A. Haug and S. Merten (eds.) Practices in Ancient Public Spaces: Brepols (forthcoming).

Media Coverage
BBC Radio
Country Focus
Italy, Mediterranean, Europe
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Diplomacy, Material Culture, Politics, Rebellion & Revolution, Urban History