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The Open University
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Ancient history, Roman history, Roman archaeology, Pompeii, ancient graffiti, Herculaneum, city of Rome, Roman politics, social networks
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About Me

Virginia L. Campbell is a Roman ancient historian and archaeologist who has worked extensively in Pompeii and the Vesuvian region. Her research focuses largely on the people of the ancient city, utilizing various types of evidence to examine their lives and deaths. Her first degree is a BA in Anthropology and History from The American University in Washington, D.C.. She then moved to the UK for post-graduate studies at the University of Reading, where she obtained a MA in the City of Rome, and a PhD in Classics. Since completing her doctorate she has taught at the University of Reading, the University of St. Andrews, and held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Oxford. She is currently the Baron Thyssen Lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University.

Virginia studied death and commemoration in Pompeii for her doctoral studies. Her book, The Tombs of Pompeii: Organisation, Space, and Society, offers a comprehensive overview of the tombs of Pompeii and its immediate environs, examining the funerary culture of the population, delving into the importance of social class and self-representation, and developing a broad understanding of Pompeii’s funerary epigraphy and organisation. Her more recent work has been conducting a social network analysis of Pompeii, which has involved producing a prosopographical study of the town’s population and applying network theory to analyse the form and function of the networks within the community. The application of SNA to the ancient world is an emerging area of research in the disciplines of Archaeology Ancient History, making use of the epigraphic and material evidence that survives to develop a clearer understanding of how particular ancient communities functioned. The survival of the urban landscape allows a different element for analysis of the networks, combining archaeology and epigraphy. Preliminary aspects of this work can be found on her blog, Pompeian Connections :An exploration of the prosopography and social networks of a Roman Town.

Virginia is continuing to work on aspects of life in Pompeii, including further work on networks and a study of the political and electoral processes of the Imperial period. She has also published Pocket Museum: Ancient Rome, a guide to artifacts of Rome housed in museum collections around the world.

Recent Publications

Pocket Museum: Ancient Rome, Thames & Hudson: New York / London, 2017.

‘CIL X 8351 and 8352: New Readings,’ Epigraphica 78: 393-399, 2016.

‘Politicians and Priestesses: Networks of Elite Families in Pompeii,’ Leidschrift 31.1, 61-74, 2016.

The Tombs of Pompeii: Organisation, Space and Society, Routledge: New York / London, 2015.

‘The Calventii of Pompeii: Deconstructing Problematic Evidence,’ Athenaeum 103.1: 177-196, 2015.

‘Menedemerumenus: tracing the routes of Pompeian graffiti writers,’ Tyche 27: 93-111, 2012. With Kruschwitz, P. and Nicholls, M.

‘The Epitaph of Aulus Umbricius Scaurus (CIL X 1024): A Reconsideration,’ Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 174: 229-236, 2010.

‘Lucius Caltilius Pamphilus and his wife Servilia reunited (CIL X 1021 + X 1046),’ Tyche 25: 49-54, 2010. With Kruschwitz, P.

‘What the Pompeians saw: Representations of document types in graffiti drawings and their value for linguistic research’ Arctos 43: 57-84, 2009. With Kruschwitz.P.

‘Stopping to Smell the Roses: Garden Tombs in Roman Italy,’ Arctos 42: 31-43, 2008.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Politics, Slavery, Women, Art