Graham Shipley

revised GS picProfessor of Ancient History

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

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2775




Personal details

Originally from Northumberland, I have been Professor of Ancient History at Leicester since 2002. After graduating in Classics from Oxford, and holding research fellowships there and in Cambridge, I have spent most of my career at Leicester. I became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014.

I am member of the Oxford Classical Texts Committee, and previously served on the UK Education Honours Committee. Earlier I was Chair of the Council of University Classical Departments.

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


I teach both campus-based and distance learning modes. My main areas are Greek and Hellenistic history; Spartan history; and the Ancient Greek language. I also contribute to undergraduate and master’s teaching on historical theory, ancient economies, identity, and historiography. I have supervised dissertations on an even wider range of topics.


I have worked on Greece in the Late Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods, especially regional histories such as those of Samos, Laconia, and the Peloponnese as a whole. I am currently editing Greek geographical writings, and will move on to Xenophon’s shorter works. Earlier themes included rural settlement, epigraphy, urban form, and the city-state.

I have also written a short paper about two modern English novels (in Notes & Queries 2014), and am currently writing on J. R. R. Tolkien's response to Classical literature and on Anthony Powell's use of language.

Current and recent projects

  • Geographers of the Ancient Greek World, a 350,000-word edited volume of newly translated Greek authors (to be completed in 2020–1)
  • Pseudo-Skylax’s Periplous: The Circumnavigation of the Inhabited World, a new edition and translation of an ancient geographical text (2nd edition, Liverpool University Press, 2019)
  • The Early Hellenistic Peloponnese, my latest single-authored book (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Research Student Supervision

Topics for Supervision

  • Greek history, culture, and society (Classical to early Roman periods)
  • Greek historiography and technical writings
  • Spartan and Peloponnesian history

Current research students

(As 1st supervisor unless otherwise noted)

2018– Joshua WEBB, The organization of Greek war preparation

2017– Alexander J. THOMAS, Imperial spaces in Sicily: Syracusan, Carthaginian, Roman

2016– (as external co-supervisor) Greg D. WEAR, ‘Through the Pillars or elsewhere: can archaeological evidence confirm a Mediterranean presence in northern Europe before 323 BCE?’, Universität Zürich

Past research students

(As 1st supervisor unless otherwise noted)


14. 2015–20 Richard J. G. EVANS, ‘A most dangerous place: finding the non-combatant within the Greek polis’

13. 2015–19 Charlotte VAN REGENMORTEL, ‘The military trade: soldiers as wage labourers in the late Classical and Hellenistic periods’

12. 2014–18 (as co-supervisor) Muna ABDELHAMED, ‘The economic condition of the main Cyrenaican cities (north-eastern Libya) from the Hellenistic to the mid-Roman period: textual analysis’

11. 2014–18 Manolis PAGKALOS, ‘Perceiving the past in the early Hellenistic period: the uses of the past in remodelling reality’

10. 2013–17 (as 2nd supervisor) Andrea SCARPATO, ‘Spartan foreign policy in the third century BC: the limits of Realism’

9. 2013–18 (as co-supervisor) Jane L. AINSWORTH, ‘Herakles on the edge: how do objects depicting the figure of Herakles inform our understanding of artistic choices and identity during the expansion of the Roman empire?’

8. 2010–15 (as co-supervisor) Crysta KACZMAREK, ‘A name and a place: settlement and land use patterns, identity expression, and social strategies in Hellenistic and Roman Thessaly’

7. 2009–13 (as 2nd supervisor) Mark VAN DER ENDEN, ‘Human agency and the formation of tableware distribution patterns in Hellenistic Greece and Asia Minor’

6. 2008–16 Dorothea STAVROU, ‘The gymnasion in the Hellenistic east: motives, divergences, and networks of contacts’

5. 2005–8 Duncan R. J. CAMPBELL, ‘The so-called Galatae, Celts, and Gauls in the early Hellenistic Balkans and the attack on Delphi in 280–279 BC’

4. 2003–7 Daniel R. STEWART, ‘Landscape change and regional variation in an early “provincial” setting: the rural Peloponnese at the late Hellenistic to Roman transition’

3. 2001–7 (as 2nd supervisor) Clare F. KELLY-BLAZEBY, ‘Kapeleion: casual and commercial wine consumption in Classical Greece’

2. 2000–7 (as co-supervisor) Efrosyni BOUTSIKAS, ‘Astronomy and ancient Greek cult: an application of archaeoastronomy to Greek religious architecture, cosmologies and landscapes’

1. 1991–8 (as 2nd supervisor) Mary E. HARLOW, ‘Images of motherhood in late antiquity’


(completing in 2021) Geographers of the Ancient Greek World, a 400,000-word edited volume (mostly by me) of newly translated Greek authors (Cambridge University Press)

2019 Pseudo-Skylax’s Periplous: The Circumnavigation of the Inhabited World, a new appraisal of an ancient Greek geographical text (2nd edition, Liverpool University Press; 1st edition, Exeter University Press, 2011)

2018 The Early Hellenistic Peloponnese: Politics, Economies, and Networks, 338–197 BC, my latest single-authored book (Cambridge University Press)

2011 Pseudo-Skylax’s Periplous, 1st edition (see under 2019 above)

2006 (co-edited with other members of the School of Archaeology & Ancient History) The Cambridge Dictionary of Classical Civilization (Cambridge University Press)

2000 The Greek World after Alexander: 323–30 BC (Routledge). Also in Spanish and Modern Greek editions.

1996–2002 (co-authored) The Laconia Survey (British School at Athens)

1987 A History of Samos 800–188 BC (Oxford University Press)

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