Neale Lecture 2023: 'Decolonising Ancient Empire', Prof David Mattingly - 23 November 2023

Recap of the Neale Lecture 2023: 'Decolonising Ancient Empire' with Professor David Mattingly

Watch the Lecture

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/TkAwEVwMj2c

Event Report

This year's UCL History Neale Lecture featured Prof David Mattingly, FBA, an archaeologist and historian of the Roman world. He is currently Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Leicester. It is the first time an ancient historian has delivered the lecture. Prof Mattingly spoke on 'Decolonising ancient empire: Roman imperialism, Britain and Africa.' 

Professor Mattingly shared his approaches to writing a history of Britain in the Roman Empire (Imperial Possession), completed almost 20 years ago, compared with his current work on Roman Africa in light of recent developments of the anti-woke culture wars.

We examined the debate that Professor Mattingly’s work on Roman Imperialism in Britain provoked and how he has taken arguments further concerning Northern Africa. Finally, he pointed out some differences in how the ‘Roman’ story has been written hitherto for Britain and Africa and offered some broader reflections on the decolonising agenda of his work and the subject more generally and why it is needed.