Associate Professor Caillan Davenport

BA (Hons), MPhil (Qld.), DPhil (Oxon.), FHEA, FRHistS
Associate Professor of Classics and Head of the Centre for Classical Studies
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Classical Greek And Roman History 430305
  • Latin And Classical Greek Literature 470513
  • European History (Excl. British, Classical Greek And Roman) 430308
  • Global And World History 430310
  • History Of Empires, Imperialism And Colonialism 430313

Research interests

  • Roman history from the Archaic period to Late Antiquity
  • Roman emperors in Antiquity and their reception in later periods
  • Roman imperial court society and ceremonial
  • Comparative history, especially of monarchy, courts, governments, and empires
  • News, rumour, gossip in pre-modern societies
  • Documentary evidence for Roman history, especially inscriptions and coins
  • Greek and Latin historiography of the Roman empire
  • Roman letter writing, especially the correspondence of Marcus Aurelius and Fronto


Dr Caillan Davenport is Associate Professor of Classics and Head of the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian National University. He studied Latin, Ancient Greek, and Ancient History at the University of Queensland, receiving the University Medal in Latin. With the support of a John Crampton Travelling Scholarship, he undertook a DPhil in Ancient History at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Professor Alan Bowman. He held positions at the University of Queensland (2011-2017) and Macquarie University (2017-2021) before coming to the ANU in January 2022.

In the course of his career, Dr Davenport has received the Royal Historical Society's Gladstone Prize, a Rome Award from the British School at Rome, an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, and an Experienced Researcher Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which he held at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main with the sponsorship of Professor Hartmut Leppin. He has been named a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Dr Davenport is committed to public outreach and engagement. He has written for The Conversation, appeared on ABC Radio, given talks at the Queensland Museum and the Australian Museum in Sydney, and delivered numerous lectures and workshops to school groups on topics ranging from Cicero's speeches to women on ancient coins. He is a regular contributor to the Emperors of Rome Podcast, which was named Best Australian History Podcast in 2019 by Apple.

His published research spans Roman politics and history from the Archaic Period to Late Antiquity, including the transformation of Roman government, court politics, and imperial representation. He current projects including books on rumour and gossip about Roman emperors and the Roman imperial monarchy in global context.

Researcher's projects