Matthew Hewitt graduated with a BA in Ancient History from the University of Manchester in 2018, before completing an MPhil in Greek and Roman History at the University of Oxford in 2020. He remained in Oxford for his DPhil research, working on a project entitled ‘Inscribing Manumission in the Hellenistic World’, which he completed in September 2023. His doctoral research, which he hopes to adapt for publication as a monograph, is an investigation of the practice of publicly inscribing documents recording the release of enslaved persons, often in centres of social, political, and religious importance to the local communities which produced them. His work attempts to situate this genre of document in the context of broader contemporary ‘epigraphic habits’ present in Hellenistic Greece.

In his research for the THP, Matthew will be exploring the extent to which the ideas and ideals of slave ownership in the Classical and Hellenistic Greek world were constructed upon conceptions of the distinctive ethnic characteristics of the enslaved, as well as how these might have mapped onto, or been informed by, the realities of slaveholding practices.

Research cycle

Slavery, ethnicity and race in the Mediterranean. Ideas and attitudes from Homer to Columbus.

Matthew Hewitt, THP Research Project