Ray Laurence


1991 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Ray is a Professor of Ancient History. He joined Macquarie University in 2017. Previously, he worked in universities in the UK, where he was Professor of Roman History and Archaeology at the University of Kent.

He is an enthusiastic communicator of his research and has founded the start-up Ancient Rome in Motion to engage the wider public with his research.

Research Focus and Capabilities

Professor Ray Laurence is a Roman historian recognised for his research that has transformed his discipline to develop a better understanding of the lives of women, men and children living in cities under Roman rule (200 BCE to 300 CE).

He leads a research programme to understand the fragments of evidence, that survive from two millennia ago, to make sense of the significance of mobility and transport within the context of early empires.

Ray is also contributing to the understanding of the time-depth of the contemporary concepts of age and ageing. Many of which have their point of origin over 2000 years ago.

Research Goals

  • Identify and develop applications of his research beyond the higher education sector.
  • Obtain research funding to support effective research engagement.
  • Train and build research teams in Roman history and archaeology.
  • Connect research findings to the curricula in high schools and universities.

Research Impact

  • Ray has over ten years’ experience making animated films about the Roman world. His films have had more than 20 million views on YouTube. These films have been used by educators across the world, in primary schools in the UK, in high schools in North and South America, as well as in Australia.
  • Ray set up Ancient Rome in Motion (ARM) – a start-up – in 2022 to create films relevant to the teaching of the HSC syllabus in Ancient History in New South Wales to provide teachers with the tools to make lessons more exciting for the 6,600 students who each year face the challenge of studying this subject.

Key Projects

  • Urban space and urban living in the Roman empire
  • Transport and mobility in the Roman world
  • Perceptions of human ageing in antiquity
  • Understanding the past in the present


  • Management and mentoring of researchers in the higher education sector
  • Supervision of graduate research students (Masters and PhD)
  • Writing and editing content from animation scripts to authored books
  • Development of engaging content for high school and university students
  • Collaboration with creative industry professionals


E: ray.laurence@mq.edu.au

LINK TO ACADEMIC HOMEPAGE: https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/persons/ray-laurence



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