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Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis

Alexia Petsalis-DiomidisLecturer in Classical Greek Art (part-time)

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2401
Address Department of Classics
D9, North Wing
King's College London

London, WC2R 2LS 


I studied Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (1991-1995) and then undertook postgraduate studies at the The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, including an MA in Byzantine Art (1996) and a PhD on pilgrimage in the Graeco-Roman world (2001). I have taught Classical Art and Archaeology at University College Dublin (2001-2002) and at Nottingham University, where I was a Special Leverhulme Research Fellow (2002-2005).

I joined the KCL Classics Department in 2012 on a part-time basis (my KCL days are Monday and Tuesday). I also hold a part-time Lectureship in Classical Art and Archaeology at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, since 2005. 

Research interests

My research is located at the nexus between literature, materiality and reception. I combine close readings of texts with ancient spaces and art, using one to illuminate the other, resulting in multi-layered cultural history. These are the areas of my research:

  • materiality and religion of the Graeco-Roman world
  • the body, travel and pilgrimage
  • sensory approaches to the experience of religion, wonders and the human body
  • the Reception of Greek Vases from the C18th to the present.
Selected Publications


  • Truly beyond Wonders: Aelius Aristides and the Cult of Asklepios, Ancient Culture and Representation Series, eds, S.R.F. Price, R.R.R. Smith and O. Taplin (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Articles and Chapters:

  • ‘Between the body and the divine: healing votives from Classical and Hellenistic Greece’, Ex-Voto. Votive Giving Across Cultures, ed. I. Weinryb (New York: Bard Graduate Center, forthcoming 2016)
  • ‘The virtual and the palimpsest: space and votives at the Hellenistic Amphiareion at Oropos’, Excavating Pilgrimage ed. T. Myrup Kristensen, (Ashgate, forthcoming 2015)
  • ‘The body in the landscape: Aristides’ corpus in the light of The Sacred Tales’, Aelius Aristides between Greece, Rome and the Gods eds W. Harris and B. Holmes (Leiden, 2008), 131-50
  • ‘Landscape, transformation and divine epiphany’, Severan Culture eds S. Swain, S. Harrison and J. Elsner (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 250-89
  • ‘Amphiaraos present: images of healing pilgrimage in ancient Greece’, Presence: The Inherence of the Prototype within Images and Other Objects eds R. Shepherd and R. Maniura (Ashgate, 2006), 205-29
  • ‘Sacred writing, sacred reading: the function of Aelius Aristides’ self-presentation as author in the Sacred Tales’, The Limits of Ancient Biography eds J. Mossman and B. McGing (Classical Press of Wales, 2006), 193-211
  • ‘The body in space: visual dynamics in Graeco-Roman healing pilgrimage’, Seeing the Gods: Patterns of Pilgrimage in Antiquity eds I. Rutherford and J. Elsner (Oxford University Press, 2005), 183-218
  • ‘Narratives of transformation: pilgrimage patterns and authorial self-presentation in three pilgrimage texts’, Pilgrim Voices: Narrative and Authorship in Christian Pilgrimage eds S. Coleman and J. Elsner (Berghahn, 2003), 84-109


  • 4AACAA01 Art & Archaeology of Greece & Rome
  • 6AACAR16 The Classical Art of the Body: Greek Sculpture
  • 6AACAR03 Greek Pottery & Painting


  • 7AACK805 Sacred Tales and Pilgrimage in the Graeco-Roman World
  • 7AACM821 The Classical Art of the Body: Greek Sculpture and its Legacy
  • 7AACM830 Greek Pottery & Painting
Expertise & Public Engagement

I have given talks on aspects of Classical Art and Archaeology to young people, including a study day on the Ancient Greeks and Archaeology at a Primary School and at the British Museum Classical Civilisations Study Day for AS and A-level students. Recently I have also participated in a ‘Classics for All’ Fundraising event, as Interlocutor with Dr Ian Jenkins, on British Museum’s exhibition ‘Defining Beauty: the Body in Ancient Greek Art.’

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