Jonathan Prag: Research


Principal research interests:

  • Hellenistic & Roman Republican Sicily
  • Hellenistic and Roman Republican epigraphy (especially Sicilian epigraphy)
  • Mid- and Late Roman Republican history
  • Roman Republican provinces and imperialism
  • Punic identity
  • Cicero

My PhD (London 2004) was on the 'provincialization' of Republican Sicily, examining various aspects (identity, epigraphy, military presence) of the transformation of the island under Roman provincial rule and the development of Roman provincial government in relation to the first provincia of the Republican empire. The major elements of that study were published in various articles (see publications). The majority of my current research begins from that general starting point, engaging with epigraphic evidence (particularly from Hellenistic Sicily), examining questions of identity in the western Mediterranean (including Punic identity), and exploring the origins and development of the provincial system under the Roman Republic and the nature of Roman imperialism, as well as continuing to work on the principal literary source for Roman Sicily, Cicero's Verrines. I am actively participating in collaborative projects with colleagues in France, Italy, and Spain.


Current projectsArticles forthcoming

Current projects:

1. I. Sicily: A project to catalogue and make available texts, translations, images, and metadata of the inscriptions on stone from ancient Sicily (all languages, from the Archaic to later Roman periods) online in EpiDoc format. The project is currently funded (01.2013-10.2015) by the John Fell Fund of the Oxford University, and includes a collobrative project with the Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi at Syracuse, Sicily, to catalogue the museum's collection of inscriptions on stone. The project is a content contributor to EAGLE. The project currently has a blog, and aims to have a first version online in the course of 2015.


2. Non-Italian Manpower: auxilia externa in the Roman Republic: The core research for this project was undertaken with an AHRC Research Leave Award in 2008 and I am currently completing a monograph on the subject. A brief statement of the project's aims is available in pdf.
Preliminary work has been published as:

  • Prag, J.R.W. 2011. Troops and commanders: auxilia externa under the Roman Republic. In Truppe e Commandanti nel mondo antico, eds. D. Bonanno, R. Marino, D. Motta, Palermo = ORMOS – Quaderni di storia antica, n.s. 2 (2010): 101-113.
  • Prag, J.R.W. 2011. Provincial governors and auxiliary soldiers. In N. Barrandon and F. Kirbihler (eds), Les gouverners et les provinciaux sous la République romaine. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes. 15-28.
  • Prag, J.R.W. 2007. Auxilia and Gymnasia: A Sicilian Model of Roman Imperialism.Journal of Roman Studies 97: 68-100pdf copy available


3. Cicero's Verrines: I am participating in a French research group (CNRS - UMR 8585, Centre Glotz, Paris), directed by Sylvie Pittia, working on a translation and commentary of Cicero, In Verrem II.3 (the 'De frumento'). Two conference volumes have already published as part of that project:

  • Dubouloz, J. and S. Pittia (eds). 2007. La Sicile de Cicéron, Lectures des Verrines. Besançon: Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté.
  • Prag, J.R.W. (ed.). 2007. Sicilia Nutrix Plebis Romanae: Rhetoric, Law, and Taxation in Cicero’s Verrines (BICS Suppl. 97). London: Institute of Classical Studies.

A second project is underway to produce a translation and commentary of In Verrem II.2 (the 'De praetura siciliense'): I am participating in this as Chercheur associé in the laboratoire ANHIMA (=Anthropologie et histoire des mondes anciens), UMR 8210 du CNRS, for the project 'Edition, traduction et commentaire du De praetura Siciliensi (Verrines 2, 2) de Cicéron. Les communautés de Sicile à l’épreuve de la domination romaine'.


4. The Taormina Financial Inscriptions: a collaborative project with Dr Filippo Battistoni (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Dr Lorenzo Campagna (Messina), Dr Alessia DiMartino (Pisa), and Dr Anna Magnetto (Pisa). The project aims to produce a complete new edition of the dossier of inscriptions on stone from the Hellenistic city of Tauromenium (modern Taormina) in Sicily, to be published in the OUP series Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents. Although all 13 texts have previously been published in various locations, no comprehensive study exists, and no study has examined the stones themselves in any detail (details and images of most of which are currently not in the public domain). The inscriptions contain in excess of 1,000 lines of text, recording financial incomings and outgoings over several years, probably in the course of the first century BC. A brief overview is available in pdf.


5. Entre la paz y la guerra: alianzas, confederaciones y diplomacia en el Occidente mediterráneo (siglos III-I aC)” (Symmachía) (a Project funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Cicencia e Innovacion, within the national plan I+D+I 2008-2011 (Historia y Arte (Historia): HAR2011-27782). The project is directed by Dr Enrique García Riaza (Dep. Ciències Històriques i T. de les Arts Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain), with the participation of myself, Dr Laurent Lamoine (Clermont, France) and Eduardo Sánchez Moreno (Madrid, Spain). The aim of the project is to explore the nature of diplomatic interaction between Rome and local communities in the western Mediterranean in the period of imperial expansion. A website, which includes an extensive thematic and regional bibliography for the subject, can be found at

6. Las clientelas provinciales en el Occidente del Imperio Romano. International research project financed by the Spanish Ministerio Educación y Ciencia, under the direction of Prof. F. Pina Polo, Universitat de Zaragoza, Spain, October 2010 to September 2013, in which I am an overseas co-investigator. The project is co-ordinating a conference for early 2013 which aims to reappraise the concept of provincial clientela.


7. A new bronze honorific in two copies from Halaesa, Sicily. Through the generous assistance of dott.ssa G. Tigano of the Messina Soprintendenza per Beni Culturali Ambientali, I am currently working on a new edition of a recently discovered honorific inscription, in two copies, from the Hellenistic site of Halaesa, in northern Sicily. Early verisons of this study have already been presented at research seminars at Oxford (Feb. 2010) and Pisa (May 2010), and more recently at Copenhagen (March 2012) and Pisa (December 2012).


HomePublicationsTeachingRecent Presentations
 W3C validated
Page last updated: 18 December, 2014