Dr Jan Haywood

Lecturer in Ancient HistoryDr Jan Heywood

Subject: Greek History

BA, MA (Manchester), PhD (Liverpool), FHEA

Tel: (0116) 252 2616

Email: jlth1@le.ac.uk

Personal Details

I received my undergraduate degree in History and master’s degree in Classics and Ancient History both from the University of Manchester. I then moved to the University of Liverpool, where I gained my PhD in 2013. After graduating, I became the J. P. Postgate University Teacher in Classics at the University of Liverpool, a Teaching Fellow in Ancient History at the University of Leicester, and latterly as a Lecturer in Classical Studies at The Open University. I returned to the School of Archaeology & Ancient History as Lecturer in Ancient History in August 2021.

Research Interests

My research centres on ancient Greek historiography and its cultural-literary contexts, as well as the reception of ancient Greek culture in antiquity and beyond. I am also the co-founder (with Professor Thomas Harrison, University of St Andrews) of the Herodotus Helpline – a free online seminar series set up in April 2020, which explores Herodotus and his world.


I am a passionate university teacher, and I have taught a variety of modules that touch upon Greek and Roman history, literature and culture, as well as ancient Greek and Latin language. I have also led four successful taught postgraduate study tours to Rome, in which students explored the archaeology of this site from antiquity up until today.

For 2021-2022, I am the module co-ordinator for AH1010: Introduction to Greek History. I am also the Director of Postgraduate Taught degrees.


Selected Publications

(in press) ‘Tracing affinities between Herodotus’ Croesus logos and Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrranus’, co-authored with Dr. Doris Post, Classical World.

(2021) ‘The use(s) of inscriptions in Herodotus’ Histories’, American Journal of Philology 142: 217-57.

(2021) ‘Lade’, ‘Ichthyophagi’, ‘Fire’, and ‘Reception of Herodotus, ancient Greece and Rome’, in C. Baron (ed.) The Herodotus Encyclopedia (Wiley).

(2020) ‘Alice Oswald’s Memorial, a new Iliad’, in Maria de Fátima Silva, David Bouvier and Maria das Gracas Augusto (eds.) A Special Model of Classical Reception: Summaries and Short Narratives, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 73-90.

(2019) The Power of Individual and Community in Ancient Athens and Beyond. Essays in Honour of Professor J. K. Davies, co-edited with Dr. Zosia Archibald, Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales.

(2019) ‘From Croesus to Pausanias: tragic individuals in early Greek historiography’, in Z. Archibald and J. Haywood (eds.) The Power of Individual and Community in Ancient Athens and Beyond. Essays in Honour of Professor J. K. Davies, Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales, 115-145.

(2018) Homer’s Iliad and the Trojan War: Dialogues on Tradition, co-authored with Professor Naoíse Mac Sweeney, London: Bloomsbury.

(2016) [2017] ‘Character and motivation in Aeschylus’ Persae’, Syllecta Classica 27: 29-63.

(2016) ‘Divine narratives in Xenophon’s Anabasis’, Histos 10: 85-110.


My first book (Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War: Dialogues on Tradition, Bloomsbury 2018), co-authored with Professor Naoíse Mac Sweeney (University of Vienna), explores the varied responses to Homer's version of the Trojan War in both ancient and modern media, from Attic pottery to the Elizabethan stage to Hollywood cinema. The book charts a complex, pluriform engagement with Homer's work, which many have engaged with both for its historical and literary merits.

I am currently putting the finishing touches to my next book, Herodotus and his Sources, a revised version of my doctoral thesis. The book identifies considerable connections between Herodotus' work and other textual sources (oracles, prose writers, epic poetry, etc.). In unearthing this extensive engagement with a wide range of texts in the Histories, my research challenges current perceptions of Herodotus as an historian reliant predominantly on oral sources.

In addition to this project, my current research is centred on the role of religious narratives (and in particular, divination stories) in other areas of Greek historiography. In addition to an article on the importance of the divine in terms of explaining Xenophon's successful retreat back to Greece from Asia Minor in the Anabasis, I am now exploring Herodotus' sophisticated approach to human and divine causation. In addition, I am co-convening a collaborative research project with Professor Thomas Harrison (University of St Andrews), which brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars in order to explore the role of religious material in Thucydides' History.


I would be delighted to discuss research projects on any of my major research interests: ancient historiography, Greek divination, literary culture in fifth-century BCE Greece, the Trojan War and its receptions, and classical reception.

Learn more about studying for a PhD with us.

Current students

Second supervisor to:

Sandra MoncurThe evolution of the ancient Greek tragic mask.

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