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Personal profile


Dr Caillan Davenport is an Associate Professor in Roman History at Macquarie University. He completed his BA (Hons) and MPhil at the University of Queensland. He then undertook a DPhil at the University of Oxford supported by a John Crampton Travelling Scholarship. Dr Davenport taught Latin and Ancient History at the University of Queensland from 2011-2017 before moving to Macquarie in June 2017. He has been a Junior Fellow at the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies (ACANS) at Macquarie University and a Rome Awardee at the British School at Rome. In 2015-2018, Dr Davenport was awarded an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship for the project 'Popular Perceptions of Roman Emperors from Augustus to Theodosius I'. In 2019-2021, Dr Davenport is an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (Experienced Researcher) at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt. In 2019, he became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and in 2021 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


Research interests

Dr Davenport's resesearch focuses on the political history of the Roman empire. He is co-author of Fronto: Selected Letters (Bloomsbury, 2014) and sole author of A History of the Roman Equestrian Order (Cambridge University Press, 2019), which won the Royal Historical Society's Gladstone Prize for 2020. He has also published a number of book chapters and articles on the transformation of the Roman state between the Antonine and Constantinian periods.

Key areas of interest include:

  • Roman emperors, imperial politics, ideology, and popular perceptions from Augustus to Late Antiquity
  • The senatorial and equestrian orders in Roman politics and society from the Republic to Late Antiquity
  • Documentary evidence in the Roman world, especially inscriptions and coins
  • Roman letter-writing, especially the letters of Fronto and Marcus Aurelius
  • Roman historiography, especially of the third century A.D.
Grants and Awards
  • 2019-2021 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers
  • 2015-2018 Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
  • 2013 University of Queensland Faculty of Arts Research Excellence Award
  • 2013 University of Queensland Arts Research Training Experience Grant
  • 2012 University of Queensland New Staff Research Grant
  • 2008 Rome Award, British School at Rome
  • 2006-2009 John Crampton Travelling Scholarship
  • 2005 Junior Fellowship, Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies, Macquarie University


Research student supervision

Current (at Macquarie University)

Alexandra Kujanpaa, PhD: 'Imperial Ceremonial in the Hippodrome of Constantinople from Constantine to Justinian' (Acting Principal Supervisor)

David White, PhD: 'The Court of Theodoric' (Principal Supervisor)

Nicole Moffatt, PhD: 'A World both Small and Wide: Connectivity and Letter Bearers of Roman Antiquity' (Associate Supervisor)

Charlotte Mann, PhD: 'Providentia Deorum: Imperial Power and Divine Authority During the Antonine Period (117-192 CE)' (Associate Supervisor)

Completed (at Macquarie University)

Alexandra Kujanpaa, MPhil: 'Theodosius II and his Image: Three Studies in Imperial Presentation, Ceremonial, and Reception'

Completed (at the University of Queensland)

Nicola Holm, MPhil: 'Pagan Emperors and Religious Policies, A.D. 249-363'

Michael Welch, PhD: 'Tales of Philip II under the Roman Empire'

Britta Johansson, MPhil: 'Boys will be Boys: The Portrayal of Youthful Emperors in Roman Imperial Histories and Biographies'

Sally O'Grady, MPhil: 'The Public Image of the Later Severans'

Elizabeth Boldy, MPhil: 'The Portrayal of the Generals and Armies in Tacitus' Annals'

Dustin McKenzie, MPhil: 'Sicilian Landscape as Contested Space in the First Century B.C.: Three Case Studies' (Associate Supervisor)

Lisette Cockell, MPhil: 'Accessories to Power: Imperial Women's Dress, Adornments, and Attributes in Art and Text' (Associate Supervisor)

Community engagement

Dr Davenport enjoys communicating his love of the Roman world to the general public. He has contributed several articles on Roman history and culture to The Conversation, where he wrote the popular 'Mythbusting Ancient Rome' series with Dr Shushma Malik (Roehampton University). Dr Davenport is regular guest on the Emperors of Rome podcast, discussing emperors of the third century AD, and he has also featured on the When in Rome podcast, talking about the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Baths of Caracalla, the Curia Julia, and the Arch of Galerius in Thessaloniki.

In the past few years, he has given talks at the Abbey Museum in Caboolture, the Australian Museum in Sydney, the ANU Classics Museum in Canberra, the Roman Archaeology Group in Perth, the Queensland Solomos Society, the Queensland Museum, and the Queensland Friends of Antiquity. While at UQ, he presented seminars for senior students at the Queensland History Teachers Association and ran Latin outreach events for many years. He can be found on Twitter @DrCDavenport, tweeting mainly about Roman emperors.

Education/Academic qualification

Ancient History, MPhil, The University of Queensland

Latin Language and Literature, BA (Hons), The University of Queensland

Ancient History, Greek, Latin, BA, The University of Queensland

Ancient History, DPhil, University of Oxford

External positions

Fellow, Royal Historical Society

Mar 2021 → …

Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Jan 2019 → …


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