Lea Beness

Associate Professor

1990 …2018

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My main research interests are in the areas of Roman Republican History, gender in the Graeco-Roman world and landscape archaeology, particularly that of ancient harbours. I continue to work on the Macquarie Roman Biographical Dictionary Project and a project focussed on the location and mapping of the harbour of ancient Torone in northern Greece.


I have long convened and taught the flagship first-year unit on Roman History at Macquarie. My main teaching areas are in Roman Republican History and Gender in the Graeco-Roman world.

Community engagement

I believe strongly in the importance of outreach to the Higher School Ancient History teaching community in NSW. I have served on the NSW Ancient History HSC Examination committee, have co-convened a number of Macquarie's annual Ancient History Teachers' Conferences and continue to serve as the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Ancient History: Resources for Teachers.

I represent and serve the Ancient History community more generally in Australia and New Zealand as the President of the Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies (AWAWS) and as the Vice-President of the premier body representing the discipline in Australasia: the Australasian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS).


I was born in Glen Innes in northern NSW and received my tertiary education (doctorate) at the University of New England in Armidale. I served as a Lecturer in Roman History at the University of New England for two years in the early 1990s. From 1994 I have worked in various research and teaching capacities at Macquarie University. I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Roman History. I am also the President of the AWAWS (Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies) and the Vice-President of the ASCS (the Australasian Society for Classical Studies).

External positions

Research Affiliate, University of Sydney

1 Apr 201931 Mar 2022

Research Affiliate, University of Sydney

1 Apr 201631 Mar 2019

Research Affiliate, University of Sydney

1 Jul 20121 Jul 2015

Visiting Research Fellow, Norwich University


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Research Outputs

The Harbour(s) of Ancient Torone: searching for the location and reflecting on Honor Frost's hypothesis concerning shipbuilding in the area

Beness, L. & Hillard, T., 16 Oct 2018, (Accepted/In press) Under the Mediterranean: studies in maritime archaeology. Leiden: Sidestone Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Torone: the 2016 season

Beness, J. L., Hillard, T., Tsokas, G. & Tsourlos, P., Apr 2018, In : Mediterranean Archaeology. 28/29 (2015/2016), p. 141–146 6 p., 8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Search for Torone's harbour

Hillard, T. & Beness, J. L., 2017, In : Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens bulletin. 13, p. 10-11 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter