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Griffiths Roman Prize

The Griffiths Roman Prize is intended to reward and encourage excellence by a resident member of the College (graduate or undergraduate) in the field of Roman studies, broadly conceived, to include (for example) the language, literature, law, politics, religion, philosophy, art, architecture, archaeology, history and culture of the Roman world (from the eighth century BC to the sixth century AD) and its reception. The emphasis is on "broadly conceived".

The Griffiths Roman Prize (or prizes) will normally be made on the basis of a graduate thesis, essay or project or an undergraduate dissertation or examination result. The award will be made at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term for the previous academic year. The award will be made by the Governing Body on the recommendation of the Master after consulting, as appropriate, the Director of Studies in Classics and the Directors of Studies in any other subjects (for example archaeology, history of art) in which candidates' work has been submitted. The Master may also consult the Senior Tutor.

The Griffiths Prize was established in 2011 thanks to the great generosity of Michael Griffiths OBE who read Classics (with an emphasis at Part II on Greek and Roman philosophy) at the College in the late 1950s. Until his retirement in 2003, Michael was partner and managing director of the international actuarial consultants Towers Perrin Tillinghast (now Willis Towers Watson) in Italy. He is a former President of the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy and an honorary Life Governor of the British Institute in Florence. He is the author (along with John Lucas) of Value Economics: the ethical implications of value for new economic thinking (Palgrave/Macmillan: 2016), also published in Italian as L'Economia del Valore (Mondadori: 2020).

Previous winners of the Griffiths Roman Prize


Katharine Elliot (Prelims to the Classical Tripos)


Katie Young (Part IB of the Classical Tripos)
Jess Lightfoot (Part IB of the Classical Tripos)


Luke Gardiner (PhD thesis: ‘The truth is bitter’: Socrates Scholasticus and the writing of a history of the Christian Roman Empire)
Sam Cheesbrough (Part II of the Law Tripos)


Katharine Elliot (Part II dissertation: The ever-shifting golden age: traductio and aemulatio in Bruni’s Historiae florentini populi)
Robin Whelan (PhD thesis: Contesting orthodoxy in late Antiquity: Christian controversy and social identities in Vandal Africa)


Matthew Day (Part II dissertation: The Scottish Virgil: Gavin Douglas’s Supplementum and the summer of 1513)


Samuel Agbamu (MPhil dissertation: Dangerous Dancing: pantomime and the politics of the performative)
Alastair Cotterell (MPhil dissertation: Livy’s metahistory)
Verity Walsh (MPhil dissertation: Language hybridity and Mirabilia in the Middle English Letter of Alexander to Aristotle)


Not awarded


George Pliotis (Part II dissertation: Seneca, evil and the self)
Yannis Koltermann (MPhil dissertation: Augustus’ after-lives in Suetonius’ The Lives of the Caesars)
Jesse Harrington (PhD thesis: Vengeance and saintly cursing in the saints’ Lives of England and Ireland, c. 1060–1215)


George Pliotis (MPhil dissertation: Vergil’s Aeneid and the ethics of illusion)
Graham Andrews (PhD thesis: Rethinking the Third Century CE: contemporary historiography and political narrative)

2020 and 2021

Not awarded


Ed Pyman (MPhil dissertation: The textual transmission of Cicero's Epistulae ad familiares)
Betty Townley (Part II dissertation: Written in the Stars: Constellations and the system of nature in Ovid’s Fasti)