Dr Matthew Cobb BA, MA, PhD

Lecturer in Classics

Lampeter

Tel: +44 (0) 1570 424806
E-mail: m.cobb@uwtsd.ac.uk

Matthew Cobb

Admissions Officer

I a researcher and lecturer with interests in interdisciplinary (historical, literary and archaeological) approaches to the study of cultural and economic relationships between the Graeco-Roman Mediterranean and the Indian subcontinent. 

I obtained my PhD from Swansea University and have since then published a number of books, edited chapters and articles.  

My teaching encompasses a number of campus based and distance learning modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. This includes utilising a range of diverse material, themes and periods relating to the historical, literary, archaeological and social aspects of Ancient History and Classics. The modules taught on include the following:

  • Athens and Rome: Life and Culture in Classical Antiquity
  • From Village to Empire: An Introduction to Roman History
  • Infamous and Damned? The Emperor Nero and the Julio-Claudian Dynasty
  • Classics Project
  • Intermediate Greek
  • Regional Archaeology and Fieldtrip module
  • West meets East: At the Borders of the Oikoumene
  • The City of Rome: People, Power and Politics
  • What Makes a Civilisation?
  • Text and Society
  • Life in the Eastern Desert of Egypt (MA module)
  • Julius Caesar and his Times (MA module)
  • Theory and Methodology for the Study of Classics (MA module)

My research examines the cultural and economic interaction between the Mediterranean and Indian spheres. In particular I am interested in the Indian Ocean as a conduit for trade and exchange between West and East, focusing on the Augustan period up to the third century AD.

This research encompasses a number of areas including economic issues relating to the cost, conduct, and operations of the trade; cultural and social issues concerning the identity and status of the merchants and the creation of diaspora and temporary merchant communities in foreign lands; as well as examining the social and economic impact of this trade on the elite at Rome, particularly the consumption of eastern goods.

I have been involved in outreach initiatives designed to facilitate access to classics and ancient history in the wider community. These activities include participating in the South West Wales Reaching Wider Partnership programmes which is designed to get local school children interested in HE, as well as the Swansea  University / South West Wales Classical Association / Iris Project ‘Latin in the Park’ project.

Books:

  • Cobb, M. A. 2018. Rome and the Indian Ocean Trade: From Augustus to the Early Third Century CE. Leiden: Brill..
  • Cobb, M. A. (ed.), 2018. The Indian Ocean Trade in Antiquity: Political, Cultural and Economic Impacts. London: Routledge.

Journal articles and chapters in edited books:

  • Cobb, M. A. ‘Peoples of the Eastern Desert of Egypt and their impact on the Red Sea trade (first to third centuries CE)’ to appear in Ancient West & East – 2019 issue.
  • Cobb, M. A. 2018: ‘Black Pepper Consumption in the Roman Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 61 (4): 519-559.
  • Cobb, M. A. 2018. ‘Introduction: The Indian Ocean in Antiquity and Global History’, in Cobb, M. A. (ed.), The Indian Ocean Trade in Antiquity: Political, Cultural and Economic Impacts: 1-14.
  • Cobb, M. A. 2018. ‘From the Ptolemies to Augustus: Mediterranean integration into the Indian Ocean Trade’, in Cobb, M. A. (ed.), The Indian Ocean Trade in Antiquity: Political, Cultural and Economic Impacts: 17-51.
  • Cobb, M. A. 2016: ‘The Decline of Ptolemaic Elephant Hunting: An Analysis of the Contributory Factors’ Greece & Rome 63 (2): 192-204.
  • Cobb, M. A. 2015: ‘The Chronology of Roman Trade in the Indian Ocean from Augustus to Early Third Century AD’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 58 (3): 362-418.
  • Cobb, M. A. 2015: ‘Balancing the Trade: Roman Cargo Shipments to India’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 34 (2): 185-203. 
  • Cobb, M. A. 2014: ‘The Exchange of Goods from Italy to India during the Early Roman Empire: The Range of Travelling Times’, Ancient West & East 13: 89-116.
  • Cobb, M. A. 2013: ‘The Reception and Consumption of Eastern Goods in Roman Society’, Greece & Rome 60 (1): 136-52.

Articles for a popular/wider audience:

  • Cobb, M. A. 2017: ‘India in the Early Greek Imagination’, ARGO: A Hellenic Review 5 (1): 6-8.

Book Reviews:

  • Review of A. Van Oyen and M. Pitts (eds.), Materialising Roman History, Oxbow books, Oxford 2017 – for Ancient West & East, to appear in the 2019 issue.
  • Review of K. G. Evers, Worlds Apart Trading Together: The Organisation of Long-Distance Trade between Rome and India in Antiquity, Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 32, Archaeopress, Oxford 2017. – for Ancient West & East, to appear in the 2019 issue.
  • Review of D. Robin and F. Goddio (eds.), Thonis-Heracleion in Context, Oxford Centre of Maritime Archaeology, 2015. The Mariner's Mirror (2016), pages 469-472.