Who We Are

The Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions Project (AshLI) is a three-way collaboration between Warwick University, Oxford University and the Ashmolean Museum, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Our Aims

We love Latin inscriptions. Really. And we want other people to love them too. Using the fantastic collection from the Ashmolean Museum, we’ve set ourselves some challenges, all of which we have to meet before September 2016:

  1. To research and catalogue all the Latin inscriptions in the Ashmolean Museum. The last person to do this was Richard Chandler when he wrote Marmora Oxoniensia in 1763. That gives us plenty to do.
  2. To set up new displays of Latin inscriptions in the Ashmolean. These will be on themes like death and burial, the Roman army, slaves and freed-people, literacy in the Roman Empire and the lives of Roman women. For us, inscriptions are about people, not just letter shapes or carving techniques.
  3. To produce teaching resources that can be downloaded from the Ashmolean Education Department for use in Primary and Secondary schools, and to devise new museum visits for students who are interested in the lives of the Romans.

The AshLI Team

  • Professor Alison Cooley, is Principal Investigator for the project and Head of Warwick University’s Department of Classics and Ancient History. Alison is a specialist in Latin inscriptions, and is taking on the challenge of writing the new catalogue.
  • Dr Abigail Baker is an archaeologist and museologist, based at Oxford’s Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (CSAD). She’s responsible for bringing AshLI’s work to the public through education projects, museum displays and social media. She also works on the EpiDoc based online catalogue – making the Ashmolean’s inscriptions accessible for free online.

Other members of the team are Dr Paul Roberts, the Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Dr Charles Crowther from Oxford’s Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, and Stephanie Lane, who is studying material from the project as part of her PhD on Roman Literacy.

AshLI’s access to the Ashmolean’s inscriptions is masterminded by the Antiquities’ Collections Manager Helen Hovey. We’ve also had the specialist help of Ben Altshuler and Sarah Norodom for RTI capture of our more challenging stones.

Former members of the team still keep in touch. Dr Jane Masséglia (who used to work on education and public communication for the project) is now a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Leicester. Dr Hannah Cornwell (who used to work on the project’s online database, digital images and podcasts) is now a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Classical Studies.

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