Professor Garth Fowden FBA

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

Elected 2015

UK Fellow
Classics, Religion

Garth Fowden has been the Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths in the University of Cambridge since 2013. After his D.Phil. in Modern History from the University of Oxford, Fowden held research fellowships at Cambridge and taught briefly at Groningen, and subsequently on several occasions as a visiting professor at Princeton. But the greater part of his career (1985-2013) was spent working on late antique and early Islamic history at the National Research Foundation in Athens. He is now composing a wide-ranging synthesis of his work in these traditionally separate areas of scholarly activity, within the framework of a new historical periodization, the First Millennium from Augustus to Avicenna.

Current post

Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths, University of Cambridge


The Egyptian Hermes: A historical approach to the late pagan mind (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1986; reprinted in paperback, with a new Preface, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1993); French translation, Les Belles Lettres, Paris 2000; Greek translation, Enalios, Athens 2002

Empire to commonwealth: Consequences of monotheism in late antiquity Princeton University Press, Princeton 1993); Italian translation, Jouvence, Rome 1997

Qusayr 'Amra: Art and the Umayyad elite in late antique Syria (University of California Press, Berkeley 2004)

Before and after Muhammad: The First Millennium refocused Princeton University Press, Princeton 2014)

Abraham or Aristotle? First Millennium empires and exegetical traditions. An Inaugural Lecture by the Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths given in the University of Cambridge, 4 December 2013 (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2015)

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