Annual Baynes Meeting for Ancient Historians: The Great Depression

This weekend I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express at Stevenage. You are probably wondering what on earth I was doing in such an unlikely town, as it is devoid of any historical or archaeological interest. And yet, its obscurity means that overworked and underpaid Ancient Historians from across the UK could afford to pay the modest hotel bill for one night (the whole experience cost us around 100 pounds) and hold there the important Annual Baynes Meeting. It is worth mentioning that, despite the l... »

Professional Skills for Ancient Historians, Classicists and Archaeologists

The study of the classical world may look obsolete in the eyes of the close-minded but, in fact, it has never been timelier. The restructuring of modern societies, the declaration of semi-religious wars, the economic crisis… they all resemble comparable incidents that took place in the past. A student of classical antiquity can easily make parallelisms and learn from previous mistakes, which is a lot more than what government officials can claim. Since the graduate of ancient history, archaeolog... »

Relocation, Relocation: The Fate of an Academic Gypsy

Last Sunday I went for tango in Market Harborough. There, I have been introduced to a young dancer with excellent leading skills. Curious about his style, I asked him where he took tango lessons. He mentioned that he started in Paris and then he continued in Canada and the UK. Then it was my turn to reveal the whereabouts of my teachers: Ireland, UK, Italy, Germany and Greece. The next question took me by surprise. He asked me: Are you a Researcher? How could he have guessed? Was it my scholarly... »

Seven Requirements to get an Academic Job.

Ancient Historians are struggling to get their first post after they finish the PhD. The qualified candidates are too many, while the available jobs are always scant. In a previous article I insisted that the one prerequisite for getting a placement in a university is that the applicant should be a “good fit”. Even if this is essentially true for all cases, we should not forget that the competition is stiff and that the prospective candidates should meet also a set of other requirements. 1)     ... »

What jobs can you do with an Ancient History or Classics degree?

Contrary to the image I usually project, I do not expect my students to dedicate themselves to a life of poverty in their pursuit of learning Greek or Latin. Instead, I am a firm believer that a course in Ancient History or Classics is only the first step to achieve an illustrious career outside academia. Unfortunately, the direction they may take is not an obvious one. Up to now, when they asked me about the application of their degrees in real life, I tended to joke and claimed that “we are us... »

Academic Jobs in Ancient History

This week I took notice of a THES blog written by the Insecure Scholar. He lamented the fact that he is receiving invitations to teach at universities as a guest lecturer but none of these institutions is willing to give him a permanent job. At a moment of frustration I answered that he may be the best scholar in the world but this does not mean that universities are willing to pay money for his scholarly skills. Unfortunately, I have not expanded on this idea and this may have caused uncertaint... »