York professor named to the Royal Academy of History of Spain


Above: Jonathan Edmondson

Jonathan Edmondson, professor in York’s Department of History and Division of Humanities and currently director of the Program in Classical Studies, has been named to a distinguished position within a historic academy in Europe. He has been elected a Corresponding Member of the Real Academia de la Historia (the Royal Academy of History of Spain), an elite group of about 350 scholars.

Right: Insignia of  Real Academia de la Historia 

The academy, analogous with The Royal Society of Canada, though its purview is narrower, was founded in 1735. The first corresponding members, “meritorious individuals who reside outside the royal Court or overseas”, were elected in 1770.

The Royal Academy of History of Spain publishes a journal four times a year, the Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia); has several monograph series (Edmondson’s last book was published in one of these, the Bibliotheca Archaeologica Hispana, no. 10, 2001); and organizes conferences and lectures at its headquarters in Madrid. Each annual session is opened by the King of Spain.

“I’m honoured by this election to an institution with such a long and distinguished history,” said Edmondson. “The Real Academia has certainly been very important for improving our understanding of Roman Spain, my main area of academic research.”

“I think there are few, if any, other corresponding members in Canada. It certainly reflects well on York’s growing internationalization and attests to its research strengths in history and classical studies and in subjects related to Spain.”

Edmondson, a Cambridge University graduate, has taught at York since 1987. From 1997 to 2002, he was editor of the Phoenix, the journal of the Classical Association of Canada, and is now the editor of the Phoenix Supplementary Series. In February/March 1999 he was a visiting professor at the Centre Ausonius and Department of History of the Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux III. In 2001 he was appointed a senior fellow of Massey College. He is now vice-president of the Ontario Classical Association.

Edmondson’s current research interests focus on Roman Spain, Roman family history and Roman spectacle. He has published three books: Two Industries in Roman Lusitania: Mining and Garum Production (Oxford, 1987); Cassius Dio: The Julio Claudians (Translation with Commentary on Selections from Books 58-63 of Dio’s Roman History) (London, 1992); and, pictured below, right, Imagen y Memoria: Monumentos funerarios con retrato en la Colonia Augusta Emerita (Madrid, 2001, with T. Nogales Basarrate and W. Trillmich). A fourth, Granite Funerary Stelae from Augusta Emerita, is in press.

In addition, Edmondson has written numerous articles on Roman Spain, especially the province of Lusitania, Roman mining, Roman imperialism and on Roman spectacle, especially gladiators, and edited two books with Oxford University Press: Law and Society in Classical Athens (with Virginia Hunter) (2000) and Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome (with Steve Mason and James Rives – in the final stages of preparation).

At present, Edmondson is working on a book on the Roman family for Cambridge University Press, a reader on Augustus for Edinburgh University Press and an edited volume on “Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture”.

Edmondson continues to work on Roman Spain, in particular on local colonial society at Augusta Emerita (Mérida), on which he has several articles in press.