Graham Shipley

revised GS picProfessor of Ancient History

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2775




Personal details

MA, DPhil (Oxford), FRAS, FRGS, FRHistS, FSA, SFHEA

I have been Professor of Ancient History at Leicester since 2002. Originally trained as a classicist, I have researched Greek history with an emphasis on political landscapes, settlement archaeology, epigraphy, geographical texts, and material culture.

My main work has been in the Late Classical and Hellenistic periods, and its main geographical focuses have been, first, the island of Samos and, more recently, the Peloponnese (especially Sparta and Laconia).

I am a former Chair of the Council of University Classical Departments (CUCD) and of the British School at Athens Sparta and Laconia Committee (2003-2006). From 2007 to 2013, I served on the UK Education Honours Committee.

I am a dedicated teacher and became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014. I have received much positive feedback from students, and since 2013 have several times been nominated in the 'SuperStar' poll run by the Students' Union. From 2010 to 2013 I chaired the School's Academic Committee, leading on all aspects of learning and teaching, and more recently I have served as Tutor for (research) Postgraduates and as Director of Postgraduate Teaching (i.e. MA students).

In the 1980s I was a member of the Laconia Survey team, and in the 1990s I joined the Copenhagen Polis Project. My most widely-read monograph has been 'The Greek World after Alexander' (Routledge). Before coming to Leicester, I held research fellowships at Oxford (Wadham and Balliol) and Cambridge (St Catharine's). Later, I was Visiting Fellow at the British School at Athens (1999), and held a one-year British Academy–Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship (2004–5) which I devoted to the Hellenistic history of the Peloponnese; the resulting book is in the final stages of writing.

My reseahrcarch on the Greek geographer Pseudo-Skylax was supported by funding from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation and the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council).

I was the first convener of the Dorothy Buchan Memorial lectures.


My teaching areas typically cover Greek and Hellenistic history at both undergraduate and MA levels.


In preparation

Selected Greek Geographers. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Published since 2000 (selected)

(Those asterisked are perhaps the most representative)

* 2019. Pseudo-Skylax's Periplous: The Circumnavigation of the Inhabited World. Text, Translation, and Commentary. 2nd edition. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

* 2018. The Early Hellenistic Peloponnese: Politics, Economies, and Networks, 338–197 BC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2018. Aineias Tacticus in his intellectual context. In M. Pretzler and N. D. Barley (eds), Brill’s Companion to Aineias Tacticus (Brill's Companions in Classical Studies; Leiden–Boston: Brill), 49–67 (ch. 4).

* 2017. Agis IV, Kleomenes III, and Spartan landscapes. Historia, 66 (3): 281–97.
2013. Afterword: hellenistic oratory in context. In C. Kremmydas and K. Tempest (eds), Hellenistic Oratory: Continuity and Change (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 361–8 (ch. 15).
* 2013 - ‘“Small things remembered”: the under-theorized domestic material culture of Hellenistic Greece’. In N. Fenn and C. Römer-Strehl (eds), Networks in the Hellenistic World (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports), 3–13.


* 2012 ‘Pseudo-Skylax and the natural philosophers', Journal of Hellenic Studies 132 121–38. (submitted version at

2013 - ‘Afterword: Hellenistic oratory in context’, in C. Kremmydas and K. Tempest (eds), Hellenistic Oratory: Change and Continuity (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 361–8.

* 2011 - Pseudo-Skylax’s Periplous: The Circumnavigation of the Inhabited World. Exeter: Bristol Phoenix Press/The Exeter Press

2010 - ‘Pseudo-Skylax on Attica’, in N. V. Sekunda (ed.), Ergasteria: Works presented to John Ellis Jones (Gdańsk: Project/Institute of Archaeology, Gdańsk University), 100–14

2009 - ‘Early Hellenistic Sparta: changing modes of interaction with the wider world?’, in N. Kaltsas (ed.), Athens–Sparta: Contributions to the Research on the Archaeology and History of the Two City-states (New York/Athens: Alexander S. Onassis Foundation/National Museum of Greece), 55–60

2008 - ‘Pseudo-Skylax on the Peloponnese’, in C. Gallou et al. (eds), Dioskouroi: Studies presented to W. G. Cavanagh and C. B. Mee (Oxford: Archaeopress), 281–91

* 2008 - ‘Approaching the Macedonian Peloponnese’, in C. Grandjean (ed.), Le Péloponnèse d'Épaminondas à Hadrien (Bordeaux: Ausonius), 53–68

* 2006 - The Cambridge Dictionary of Classical Civilisation (1st editor with J. Vanderspoel, D. Mattingly, L. Foxhall). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

2006 - ‘Landscapes of the ancient Peloponnese: a human-geographical approach’, Leidschrift 21 (1) 27–43

2005 - ‘Between Macedonia and Rome: political landscapes and social change in southern Greece in the early Hellenistic period’, Annual of the British School at Athens 100 315–30

2004 - Hellēnizein: A Flexible Structure for Teaching Greek to Archaeologists and Ancient Historians (2nd author with E. Parisinou). Milton Keynes: Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for History, Classics, and Archaeology

laconia survey vol* 2002 - Continuity and Change in a Greek Rural Landscape: The Laconia Survey. Vol. i: Methodology and Interpretation (4th author with W. Cavanagh et al.). London: British School at Athens

* 2000 - The Greek World after Alexander: 323–30 BC. London–New York: Routledge, 2000. (Shortlisted for the Runciman Prize, and now in its 14th printing. Reprints since late 2004 incorporate corrections.)

2000 - 'The extent of Spartan territory in the late classical and Hellenistic periods'Annual of the British School at Athens 95 367–90


Translated editions

2012 - Ο ελληνικός κόσμος μετά τον Αλέξανδρο: 323–30 π.Χ. Athens: National Bank Cultural Foundation (2-volume translation, by M. Zachariadou, of my Greek World after Alexander, with a lengthy bibliographical update and my further reflections on the period)

2001 - El mundo griego después de Alejandro 323–30 a.C. Barcelona: Crítica (translation, by M. Chocano, of my Greek World after Alexander)


2014 - 'L. P. Hartley's The Go-between and Charles Morgan's A Breeze of Morning', Notes and Queries, 259 [new ser. 61] (4) 606–8.

Indexing and copy-editing

For many years I have completed indexes to my own and others' works and been a member of the Society of Indexers. I have written briefing notes for scholars on Typography and Text Layout and on Indexing.

For older publications, follow the 'Publications' link above.


Current research themes

  • geographical writings
  • landscapes and societies
  • material culture and society


  • Late Classical and Hellenistic


  • the Greek mainland (especially the Peloponnese)
  • the wider Hellenistic world

Planned research

Once current work is more advanced, I aim to initiate international work on material culture and society in the Hellenistic world.

Current research

Landscape, Power, and Resistance: The Macedonian Peloponnese, 338–197 BC

A book for Cambridge University Press, synthesising landscape theory, archaeology, and written sources to investigate the process and causes of socio-political change in southern Greece between Alexander and the coming of the Romans. Research partly funded by a British Academy–Leverhulme senior research fellowship in 2004-2005.

The Hellenistic World: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)

The latest Greek offering in OUP’s hugely successful VSI series, offering cutting-edge perspectives on a topic. I aim to complete this in 2012.

Selected Greek Geographers (University of North Carolina Press)

I am leading an international team to publish a collection of translations entitled 'Selected Greek Geographers'.

Recent research

Pseudo-Skylax's Periplous (Bristol Phoenix Press/The Exeter Press)

The first full edition since 1855 of an important geographical study written by an unknown author in the Classical period. This is the first ever commentary and translation in English and includes a fully revised Greek text based ahrcon inspection of the original manuscript. The work was written at Athens in the time of Aristotle and Theophrastus, and thus illuminates the earliest stages of scientific geography.

The research was partly funded by the Loeb Classical Library Foundation in 2006–7 and by the AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) in 2009–10.


Topics suitable for PhD supervision could include:

  • Greek geographical writings
  • Hellenistic societies and economies, especially in Greece and the Aegean world
  • field survey data from late Classical, Hellenistic, and early Roman Greece
  • late classical and Hellenistic states and of Greece and the Aegean (especially the polis or city-state, and federalism)
  • Macedonian and Roman rule in Greece
  • Hellenistic material culture and society

Learn more about studying for a PhD with us.

PhD supervision

I have supervised successful PhDs on

Currently, I am supervising PhDs on

  • the Hellenistic gymnasion (Dorothea Stavrou)
  • Hellenistic material culture and assemblages (Mark van der Enden, with Dan Stewart)
  • late hellenistic–Roman Thessaly (Crysta Kaczmarek, with David Mattingly)
  • the image of Herakles/Hercules in the early Roman Mediterranean (Jane Ainsworth, with Sarah Scott)
  • Hellenistic Spartan history (Andrea Scarpato, with Dan Stewart)
  • memory in Hellenistic Greece (Manolis Pagkalos, with Dan Stewart)


  • 'Why innovate? Between politics, the market, and material culture at the dawn of Eastern Sigillata', in Θ' επιστημονική συνάντηση για την ελληνιστική κεραμική [9th Scientific Meeting on Hellenistic Pottery] (Thessaloniki, 5–9 Dec. 2012).
  • ‘Aineias Taktikos in his intellectual context’, in M. Pretzler (ed.), Aeneas Tacticus: War, Politics and Literature in Classical Greece. Leiden: Brill (paper from the Aeneas Tacticus conference).
  • ‘2046 [Skylax]’, in H.-J. Gehrke (ed.), Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, volume 5, part 2. Leiden: Brill.
  • ‘The Menelaion in Therapna’, in H. W. Catling and R. W. V. Catling (eds), The Historical Periods (Sparta: Menelaion, 2; BSA Supplementary Volumes; London: British School at Athens).

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