About Associate Professor Richard Miles

Punic and Late Roman History and Archaeology

My research interests centre on the cultural history and archaeology of Punic, Roman and Late Antique North Africa. Theoretically I am particularly interested in the interrelationship (or lack of!) between archaeological and textual evidence. My earlier work concentrated on the cultural history of the later empire, particularly constructions of institutional and personal identity and the impact that limitations in communication structures had on the Roman empire. I have also published a number of articles on early Christian attitudes to theatre. This year my book 'Carthage must be Destroyed' which charts the history of Carthage from the foundation to the aftermath of the destruction of the city was published. One of the major questions that arose from writing this book is the nature and extent of Carthage’s involvement in Sicily in the Hellenistic period. I am currently engaged in looking closely at the archaeological data from Punic sites in western Sicily to try and ascertain the extent of Carthage’s economic and military involvement on the island. As regards my late antique African interests, I recently co-wrote a history of Vandal North Africa with Dr Andrew Merrills - the first since Courtois' seminal work written over half a century ago. My archaeological work in Carthage is mostly concerned with the religious and cultural impact that the re-conquest of North Africa by the eastern emperor Justinian had on the city and its hinterland. At Bir Messaouda we were lucky enough to excavate a very large Christian basilica that spanned both the Vandal and Byzantine eras. The Bir Messaouda churches have provided some very important material about the shape and extent of the transformation of the religious landscape of Carthage that took place in this period.

Please see Dr Miles' full profile here.

Selected publications

  • Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Mediterranean Civilisation (Allen Lane:Penguin [UK US], Mondadori [Italy and Spain]: De Bezige Bij [Netherlands] 2010.
  • The Vandals (Wiley Blackwell) 2010
  • Ancient Worlds (Allen Lane Penguin) 2010
  • The Byzantine and Vandal era Basilicas at Bir Messaouda, Carthage: the transformation of a late antique urban landscape (ARGU. Archaeological Reports Ghent University) forthcoming.
Edited Collections
  • Constructing Identities in Late Antiquity (Routledge: 1999)
  • 'Hannibal and Propaganda' in D. Hoyos (ed), Blackwell Companion to the Age of Hannibal (Wiley-Blackwell 2010)
  • "Lets (not) talk about it": the Epistolary 'Dialogue' of Augustine of Hippo, in S. Goldhill (ed), The End of Ancient Dialogue (CUP 2008)
  • 'British Excavations at Bir Messaouda: the Byzantine Basilica' Babesch-Bulletin Antieke Beschaving (Annual Papers on Classical Archaeology 81 2006): 199-226
  • 'The Anthologia Latina and the Creation of Secular Space in Vandal North Africa', Antiquité Tardive (13: 2005): 305-320
  • 'Rivalling Rome: Carthage as Cosmopolis' in C. Edwards and G. Woolf (eds), Rome Cosmopolis (Cambridge: 2004), 123-146.
  • With Dr J. Haubold 'Communality and Theatre in Libanius' in B. Sandwell (ed), Antioch in Late Antiquity (Oxbow: 2004), 24-34