Living in a Roman City


Using the physical remains of buildings and associated archaeological evidence, we will examine the lifestyles of people who lived in cities across the Roman world.

Starting in ancient Rome and then travelling to different parts of the empire, we will review the range of public buildings found in city centres, including forum complexes, temples, entertainment venues and bath-houses, as well as domestic buildings such as atrium houses and apartment blocks. We will head south to Pompeii and Herculaneum – urban settlements buried by the eruption of Vesuvius – and explore cities of great antiquity in the Greek east. We will investigate the important settlements along the fertile coast of North Africa, and finish our journey in the west, looking at the new foundations set up in Roman Gaul and Britannia.

Programme details

Thursdays, 11am–12.30pm (UK time)

For those attending in person at Rewley House, registration takes place at 10.30am before the first lecture (28 October 2021). Tea and coffee are provided in the Common Room before each lecture, from 10.30am.

For those joining us online, please join in good time before each lecture to ensure that you have no connection problems. We recommend joining 10-15 minutes before the start time. 

28 October 2021

Living in Ancient Rome

4 November 2021

Pompeii and Herculaneum

11 November 2021

Roman Cities in the East: Athens and Ephesus

18 November 2021

Roman Cities in the East: Palmyra, Baalbek and Petra

25 November 2021

Roman Cities in North Africa: Carthage, Leptis Magna and Timgad

2 December 2021

Roman Cities in Gaul and Britannia: Nîmes, Arles, Trier, Londinium and Silchester


Description Costs
Tuition - in-person attendance £125.00
Tuition - virtual attendance £125.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Alison MacDonald


Dr Alison MacDonald is a Lecturer in Archaeology at Oxford University's Department for Continuing Education.

She received her BA in Classical Civilisation and Ancient History from Sheffield University (1989) and her doctorate from Oxford University (2003). Her research interests include Roman landscapes and Roman material culture and identity, and her fieldwork is in central Italy where she has worked on a number of landscape archaeology projects.


Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then please contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and discounted prices.

IT requirements

You can opt to attend this hybrid teaching event either online (via a livestream) or in person at Rewley House, Oxford. You will be given the option of how you wish to attend during the enrolment process. You can only pick one option. If your preferred attendance format is fully booked, you can email us to be put on the waiting list.

For those joining us online

The University of Oxford uses Microsoft Teams for our learning environment. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Teams interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

If you have not used the Microsoft Teams app before, once you click the joining link you will be invited to download it (this is free). Once you have downloaded the app, please test before the start of your course. If you are using a laptop or desktop computer, you will also be offered the option of connecting using a web browser. If you connect via a web browser, Chrome is recommended.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.