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Dr John R. Curran

BA (QUB), DPhil (Oxford)

Senior Lecturer in Romano-Jewish History

Associate Director of the Institute of Theology

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9097 3150

Office: 16UQ.102

Dr Curran studied at QUB and Worcester College, Oxford. He has been a visiting scholar at Worcester College and visiting Fellow at St. John’s College Oxford. He serves on the Faculty Board of Theology, The Royal Irish Academy National Committee for Greek and Latin and the governing council of The Classical Association of Ireland.

Research Interests

He has written widely on widely on Romano-Jewish relations; the religions and society of the ancient Mediterranean and the Christianization of the later Roman Empire. Recent research papers delivered include those at international conferences hosted by The University of Haifa and The University of Cambridge.

Select Publications


Chapters in edited collections:

  • J.R. Curran, 'Il governo di Roma e la Nuova Roma', in Enciclopedia Costantiniana (Rome: Istituto dell enciclopedia italiana, 2013)
  • J.R. Curran, 'The emergence of Christianity' in A. Erskine (ed.), A companion to ancient history (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009)
  • J.R. Curran, ‘The conversion of Rome revisited’ in S. Mitchell, G. Greatrex (eds.), Ethnicity  and culture in late antiquity (London: Duckworth, 2000), 1-14.
  • J.R. Curran, ‘From Jovian to Theodosius’ in A. Cameron, P. Garnsey (eds), The Cambridge ancient history XIII: the late empire A.D. 337-425 (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 78-110.
  • J.R. Curran, ‘The emergence of Christianity’, in A. Erskine (ed.), The Blackwell companion to ancient history (2009), 312-25.

Refereed journals:

  • J.R. Curran, ‘The ambitions of Quintus Labienus ‘Parthicus’, Antichthon 41 (2007), 33-53.
  • J.R. Curran, ‘The Jewish War: Some neglected regional factors’, Ancient Society 101 (2007), 69-85.
  • J.R. Curran, ‘”The long hesitation”: Some reflections on the Romans in Judaea’, Greece and Rome 52 (2005), 70-98.
  • J.R. Curran, ‘Jewish leadership and the war with Rome’, Antiquitas 28 (2005), 45-66.
  • J.R. Curran, ‘Jerome and the sham Christians of Rome’ Journal of Ecclesiastical History 48 (1997), 213-229.
  • J.R. Curran, ‘Constantine and the ancient cults of Rome’ Greece and Rome 43 (1996), 68-80.
  • J.R. Curran, ‘The bones of Saint Peter?’ Classics Ireland 3 (1996), 18-46.


He is a commissioned contributor for Romano-Jewish entries in the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopaedia of the Roman Army.

Current research projects:

A monographic study of Roman Judaea; the Jewish Patriarchate in Late Antiquity; the Herodian dynasty; Flavius Josephus in Rome; the cento of Faltonia Betitia Proba.

Entry on PURE research portal




He is the course tutor for the following undergraduate modules:

  • AHY1002: The Sewer of Romulus
  • AHY2032: Roman Judaea
  • AHY2026: Roman Women
  • AHY3070: The Jewish Background to Christianity
  • AHY3071: The Rise of Christianity

and his M.A. teaching includes the historiography and numismatics components for:

  • AHY7000: Research Methods 1

He is an experienced supervisor of postgraduate students at PhD/M.A. level and has overseen diverse projects ranging from the trade-routes between the Roman Mediterranean and India to the cult of Alexander of Abonouteichos and the patronage of Roman women.

Other interests:

Away from academic life, his interests include piano music, twentieth-century literature and film, football and rugby.