Professor Tim Whitmarsh FBA
Ancient Mediterranean literature, culture and thought; Greek literature, especially of the Roman Empire; cultural contacts in the ancient world; ancient religion and scepticism; literary and cultural theory
- Fellow type
- UK Fellow
- Year elected
- Classical Antiquity
Tim Whitmarsh is the A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. A specialist in the literature, culture and religion of ancient Greece, he is the sole author of nine books, including Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World (Knopf 2015) and Dirty Love: The Genealogy of the Ancient Greek Novel (Oxford University Press 2018). He is editor-in-chief of the Oxford Classical Dictionary (5th edition), and edits book series for Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. He was Principal Investigator for a major AHRC project Greek Epic of the Roman Empire: A Cultural History (2014–17), which will (among other things) produce the first complete set of translations of this relatively neglected corpus of Greek poetry. He has written over 80 academic articles, lectured on every inhabited continent, and contributed frequently to newspapers such as The Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books, as well as to BBC radio and TV.
University of Cambridge A G Leventis Professor of Greek Culture
St John's College, Cambridge Vice-Master
2019 - 2020
University of Chicago Visiting professor
2015 - 2015
Corpus Christi College, Oxford Fellow and E.P. Warren praelector
2007 - 2014
University of Exeter Lecturer; Reader; Professor
2001 - 2007
St John’s College, Cambridge Junior Research Fellow; College Lecturer
1997 - 2001
Dirty Love: The Genealogy of the Ancient Greek Novel
Tim Whitmarsh - Published in 2018 by Oxford University Press
Part of the 'Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture'. This book proposes an alternative cultural history of Greek literature, seeing it in terms not of hermetically sealed continuity but of tactical borrowings between cultures.
Battling the Gods
Tim Whitmarsh - Published in 2016 by Faber and Faber
A ’trade’ book, 'Battling the Gods' argues that atheism is as old as the hills, even if the ancients did not always mean by ‘atheism’ exactly what we mean today. Shortlisted for the Runciman Award, the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize and the London Hellenic Prize.
Beyond the Second Sophistic: Adventures in Greek Postclassicism
Tim Whitmarsh - Published in 2013 by University of California Press
A collection of essays on the Greek literary culture of the Roman Empire, urging readers to look beyond what they think they know about this era and to delve into some of the more ‘obscure’ fields (including poetry, popular literature and Jewish texts). Winner of the Goodwin Order of Merit (Society for Classical Studies), 2014.
Narrative and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel
Tim Whitmarsh - Published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press
A study of the Greek novels as a genre, this book argues that the romance (or novel) was the single most important literary expression of Greek identity in the Roman Empire. The romance form offered a flexible medium for exploring the continuities and ruptures of Greek experience in an unstable era.
Ancient Greek literature
Tim Whitmarsh - Published in 2004 by Polity Press
Part of the Cultural History of Literature Series. A millennium of Greek literature explored through the lens of cultural history: this book reads literature not just as an expression of cultural values but as a creative space in which hierarchies can be either consolidated or upended.
Greek literature and the Roman empire: The politics of imitation
Tim Whitmarsh - Published in 2002 by Oxford University Press
A new theory of the role of Greek literature in the Roman Empire: this book makes use of modern theoretical approaches to argue that the traditional ‘Greekness’ of literary Greeks was a mirage created by culturally compromised Roman Greeks, rather than any kind of straightforward inheritance.
Professor Ingrid De Smet FBA
Renaissance and Early Modern intellectual culture, especially in France and the Low Countries; sixteenth and early-seventeenth century French literature; Neo-Latin Studies; the Republic of Letters; the Classical tradition