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Lived Realities in Ancient History

Trivent Publishing, H-1119 Budapest, Etele u. 59-61

Publisher: Teodora C. Artimon


Ryan Denson, Trent University & University of Exeter,

Charlotte Spence, University of Exeter,


Sofia Bianchi Mancini, University of Erfurt 

Daniel Ogden, University of Exeter

Maciej Paprocki, University of Wroclaw

Lorena Pérez Yarza, University of Warsaw


As with all human societies, the peoples of the ancient Mediterranean were enmeshed in a multiplicity of cultural ideas and historically contingent beliefs. Such ideological constructs (whether religious, folkloric, philosophical, or other beliefs) fundamentally moulded how the individuals of antiquity perceived the reality of the world around them.

This series aims to advance our knowledge of the lives of individuals in the ancient Mediterranean (broadly conceived) by exploring the cultural and historical factors that shaped their perception of reality. We used ‘lived’ in this sense to refer to the common phenomenon that one’s personal beliefs are deemed to comport to reality itself, being felt to be as ‘real’ as the natural world. This builds upon recent trends in the field of ancient history to emphasize the plurality of lived experiences within ancient societies, frequently resulting in contradictory visions of reality. This series primarily focuses on the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, but also welcomes submissions on ancient societies from across the globe to encourage a comparative study of ancient lives.

We invite proposals for edited collections or monographs on topics related to the lived experiences of individuals in the ancient world. Topics may include but are not limited to: 

  • Lived realities influenced by religious, mythological, or folkloric ideas, such as the Gnostic belief in the flawed nature of the material world
  • Perceptions of the world shaped by personal religion and magic, such as apocalyptic convictions, or the power of curses and counter-curses to influence reality
  • Lived realities as evidenced by material culture, such as personalized amulets, apotropaic objects, or objects with political resonance such as coinage
  • Influences of environment, be that architecture, urban, or rural settings, upon the lives of ancient individuals 
  • Influences of philosophical ideologies, such as Pliny the Elder’s Stoic belief that Nature exists as a divine force
  • Perceptions and projections of lived realities through the creation of sculpture
  • Interactions with and reactions to literature


Ryan Denson is currently an Assistant Professor for the Ancient Greek and Roman Studies Program at Trent University (Canada) and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter (UK). His research interests include ancient folklore, the supernatural, and the period of Late Antiquity. Among his recent works are an article on Procopius of Caesarea’s demonic Justinian for the Journal of Late Antiquity (2022), and another article on the canine elements of ancient sea monsters for Classical Quarterly (2024). Other editorial work has consisted of being a guest editor of Preternature (2024) for a special issue devoted to the theme of Imaginative Landscapes and Otherworlds. He is also currently writing a monograph on the kētos, the most prominent sea monster of Greco-Roman antiquity, and which is under contract for Bloomsbury’s Ancient Environments series. 

Charlotte Spence
has recently completed her PhD in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter, UK, where she is now an Honorary Research Fellow. Her work focuses on curse tablets from across the Ancient and early Medieval Mediterranean and Northern Europe. She has published on curse tablets in the ancient Roman world and has forthcoming publications on the curse tablets of Carthage and Personal Religion in the ancient Greek world. Her research interests extend to material culture more broadly, particularly to ancient coinage. She is currently investigating the use of AI and machine learning to enhance and improve our understanding and interpretation of curse tablets.

Lived Realities in Ancient History

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