Christian Laes

Christian Laes


  • Samuel Alexander Building (S 2.15), Oxford Road, Manchester, M 13 9 PL


    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


As a classicist and ancient historian, I study the social and cultural history of Graeco-Roman and Late Antiquity, paying particular attention to the human life course: childhood, youth, family, sexuality, and disabilities. My monographs and circa 150 contributions have been published with internationally renowned publishers and journals. I am a member of several international research networks: Religion and Childhood. Socialisation in Pre-Modern Europe from the Roman Empire to the Christian World (2009-2012), Handwörterbuch der antiken Sklaverei (2011-2013), Roman Society Research Center (2010-   ), Structural Determinants of Economic Performance in the Roman World (2012-2021) and Tiny Voices from the Past. New Perspectives on Childhood in Early Europe (2013-2017).

I held guest professorships at several European and American universities: Coimbra, Hamilton (Colgate), Leuven, Oslo, Nicosia (Open University), Tampere, and Vilnius. Since June 2013, I have been granted the title of Adjunct Professor (Docent) in Ancient History at the History Department of Tampere University (Finland).  From the 1st of August 2014 to the 1st of August 2016, I was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Social Research at the same university. From October 2016 on, I became an Invited Professor at the Pontificium Institutum Altioris Latinitatis (Salesiana, Rome). In 2016-2017 I acted as an Inspector for Classical Languages with the Flemish Ministery of Education. In 2017-2018, I was a Visiting Professor at the University of Fribourg, with research on play and education with Véronique Dasen and the team of the ERC Advanced Grant Locus Ludi. The Cultural Fabric of Play and Games in Classical Antiquity (FNS Scientific Exchange Grant 1.10.2017-31.3.2018).

In the last years, I have been much involved in the study of disability history of Antiquity. Next to a monograph, three edited bookvolumes and several articles, this interest also led to the development of a website Disability History and the Ancient World containing a regularly updated bibliography on the subject.

For my research, I have made extensive use of inscriptional evidence. My love for documentary philology, mainly epigraphy, caused me to be involved in the excavations of Grumentum. An edition of the epigraphical material of this Roman town in Lucania was published in November 2020.

Educated as a classical philologist, I have kept my zeal for Latin language and literature, occasionally publishing on Neo-Latin writers as Nodot, Schnur, De Groot, De Laet, Van Torre, Pascoli, Bartoli and Martinelli. As a Sodalis and Vice-President of the established Academia Latinitati Fovendae, I promote the use of the Latin language.

I am also passionate about the didactics of Latin and Ancient Greek, including the beginners level. As such, I acted as an expert, appointed by the Flemish Minister of Education, for the development of new attainment targets of classical languages (2019-2020). As the president (2013-2020) of Classica Vlaanderen I actively support the cause of ancient languages in the Flemish secondary school system and in European context. In 2019, I was elected as the new president of Euroclassica.

I arrived in Manchester in September 2018. Since then, I became an elected Council Member of the Roman Society and a member of the evaluation body of the Swiss SNF SPIRIT Evaluation Commission. I also was an expert for the development of attainment targets in classics in Flanders: for the government, the central exam commission and the network of Catholic schools. I also am the expert for the yearly translation contest of Virgil for Flemish schools.

In my free time, I am a keen traveller. A taste for fine dining is one of my weaknesses.  

N.B: 2022 was full of exciting developments. I was elected as the new president of the long standing Academia Latinae Fovendae. I was nominated as a collaborator (for Regio III in Italy and for Britannia) of l'Année Épigraphique. And I got an invitation for a Professorial Fellowship at the Heinz Heinen Kolleg for Advanced Studies. Please have a look at my personal webpage too, which is still under construction.


Teaching in the academic year 2022-2023:

No teaching, academic leave in the first semester and Professorial Research Fellowship at the University of Bonn in the second semester.


Teaching in the academic year 2021-2022:

CAHE 20051:  The Roman Empire 31BC - AD 313

CAHE 25212/35212:   Education and Schools in the Greek and Roman Worlds           

CAHE 30390/ 66910:   Living Latin

CAHE 60002: Directed Reading [Education and Schools in the Ancient World]

CAHE 66811:  Speaking Stones. Roman Epigraphy


Teaching in the academic year 2020-2021:

 CAHE 20051:  The Roman Empire 31BC - AD 313 

 CAHE 30441:   Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (6th c. BCE -3 c. CE) 

 CAHE 30220-70220: Advanced Ancient Greek 2

 CAHE 30320-70320: Advanced Ancient Greek 3

 CAHE 60002: Directed Reading [Early Christianity and the Roman Empire]

 CAHE10022:  From Republic to Empire [seminars only]


Teaching in the academic year 2019-2020:

CAHE 20052:  The Roman Empire 31BC - AD 312 

CAHE 30441:   Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (6th c. BCE -3 c. CE) 

CAHE 30220-70220: Advanced Ancient Greek 2

CAHE 30320-70320: Advanced Ancient Greek 3

CAHE 30390: Living Latin

CAHE 60002: Directed Reading [Early Christianity and the Roman Empire]


Teaching in the academic year 2018-2019:

CLAH 30442: Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (6th c. BCE -3 c. CE) 

CLAH 30220: Advanced Greek Language 2

CLAH 30320: Advanced Greek Language 3

CLAH 20052: The Roman Empire: 31 BC - AD 235: Rome's Golden Age  [only weekly seminars]

CLAH 60002: Directed Reading [socio-cultural history and the life course]

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions


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