I’m Neville Morley, Professor of Ancient History at the University of Bristol, UK; I tweet @NevilleMorley (and also operate @Thucydiocy, an account dedicated to correcting misquotations of the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, of which there are many), and blog at www.thesphinxblog.com. Yes, I believed whoever it was who said a few years ago that social media are the lecture theatres of tomorrow, and despite the fact that most of my students have apparently long since moved on to other apps of which I know nothing, I continue to struggle to keep up with the digital world.
I have three main areas of research interest, which overlap and intertwine; put another way, within a very broadly defined field I happily indulge a butterfly mind, as I’m senior enough (and prolific enough) to get away with it. Ancient (meaning Greeks and Romans) economic and social history, including topics like urbanisation, trade, slavery and ecology, and engagement with more general theories of pre-modern economies and the history of economic thought. Theoretical and methodological aspects of historiography, especially its relation to the social sciences and its rhetorical aspects. The modern influence of ancient ideas, especially in the social sciences, especially in the long nineteenth century, and especially the aforementioned Thucydides (who gives me an opportunity to dabble not only in political theory and international relations, but also modern literature – Peter Handke, Albert Camus, Christa Wolf – but also spend time on Twitter as a research activity, charting misinterpretations and appropriations.
In my spare time – such as it is, as I currently also have a sort of Head of Department role – I brew beer, make sausages and smoked meats, cook, garden, play jazz guitar badly and get bullied by cats – all of which, in true humanities fashion, I’m entirely capable of interpreting through the prism of different critical theories, and vice versa.