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UK Fellow, Classical Antiquity, elected in 1996

Dr Dorothy Thompson FBA

Classics and Ancient History
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About this Fellow

Dorothy J. Thompson, a Fellow of Girton College and Bye-Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, is an ancient historian with a particular interest in Hellenistic Egypt. In her research and writing she employs the evidence of papyri to look at social and economic questions; she is further concerned with relations between the different ethnic groups of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. 2001-2007 she served as President of the International Association of Papyrologists and remains an Honorary President. Other presidencies include the Cambridge Classical Association (1987-1990) and the Cambridge Philological Society (2002-2004). Her Memphis under the Ptolemies (Princeton 1988) received the James H. Breasted Prize from the American Historical Association (1989). She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996. Most of Thompson's teaching career has been in Cambridge (Isaac Newton Lectureship in the Faculty of Classics, 1992-2005) with a visiting professorship at Princeton University (1996). She has been a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton (1982/3), Fellow of the National Humanities Center, North Carolina (1993/4), held a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust (2002-2004) and has lectured widely in the UK and the US. Her Honorary DLitt (Liverpool) dates from 2013.



Current post

  • Life Fellow of Girton College, Bye-Fellow of Clare College

Past Appointments

  • Senior Tutor, Girton College University of Cambridge, 1981 - 1992
  • Isaac Newton Trust Lecturer in Classics, University of Cambridge, 1992 - 2005
  • Fellow in Classics and History, Girton College University of Cambridge, 1965 - 2006
  • Life Fellow of Girton College, Bye-Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge, 2006

British Academy Appointments

  • Member of Council, 2002 - 2005


‘The Ptolemies and Egypt’ Blackwell Companion to the Hellenistic World 2003

‘Slavery in the Hellenistic world’ Cambridge History of Slavery I 2011

The Ptolemies, the Sea and the Nile. Studies in Waterborne Power Cambridge 2013

Kerkeosiris: an Egyptian village in the Ptolemaic period 1971, PB 2007, Arabic trans. 2011

Memphis under the Ptolemies 1988, ed. 2, 2012

Counting the people in Hellenistic Eqypt 2006

Other Classical Antiquity Fellows

Professor Robert Fowler

Greek historiography and mythography; Greek epic poetry; Greek lyric poetry; History of Classical Scholarship

Professor Garth Fowden

Intellectual currents and imperial horizons in the first millennium CE, from Augustus to Avicenna, Central Asia to the Atlantic. Emergent Islam in its late antique context

Dr Miltiades Hatzopoulos

The epigraphy, ancient topography, language, religion, institutions and political history of Macedonia in classical antiquity