Ian Worthington


1982 …2023

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Personal profile


Ian Worthington has been Professor of Ancient History since 2017. Before then, he held an endowed chair as Curators' Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Missouri, USA. He hails from northern England, taking his B.A. at Hull and M.A. at Durham, before moving to Monash University to do his Ph.D. 

Worthington specializes in Greek history and oratory. To date, he has written 9 sole-authored books, 1 co-authored book, edited 9 books, translated 2 volumes of the Greek orators (in the University of Texas Oratory of Classical Greece series), and written over 100 articles and essays on Greek history, oratory, epigraphy, and literature.

Some authored books:

The Last Kings of Macedonia (OUP forthcoming 2022)

Athens After Empire: A History from Alexander the Great to the Emperor Hadrian (OUP 2021)

Ptolemy I: King and Pharaoh of Egypt (OUP 2016)

Lives of the Attic OratorsPseudo-Plutarch, Photius and the Suda, with J. Roisman and R. Waterfield, Clarendon Ancient History Series (OUP 2015).

By the Spear. Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire (OUP 2014)

Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece (OUP 2013)

Philip II of Macedonia (Yale Univ. Press 2008)

Alexander the Great:Man and God (Pearson 2004)

Greek Orators Vol. 2, Dinarchus 1 and Hyperides 5 & 6 (Aris & Phillips 1999)

A Historical Commentary on DinarchusRhetoric and Conspiracy in Later Fourth-Century Athens (Univ. Michigan Press 1992)

Some edited volumes:

Alexander the Great: A Reader, 2nd ed (Routledge 2011)

Blackwell Companion to Ancient Macedonia (2010; co-edited with J. Roisman)

Blackwell Companion to Greek Rhetoric (2007)

Epea and GrammataOral and Written Communication in Ancient Greece (Brill 2002; co-edited with John Miles Foley)

Voice Into TextOrality and Literacy in Ancient Greece (Leiden 1996)

Ventures Into Greek HistoryEssays in Honour of N. G. L. Hammond (OUP 1994)

He is currently finishing a book on Alexander's military leadership and modern warfare, co-written with Cpt. M. Ferguson, U.S. Army (for Routledge in 2022/23), and writing on warfare in democratic Athens as part of an ARC funded project.

Since 2003 he has been Editor-in-Chief of the major international research project Brill's New Jacoby (BNJ), which has published so far the fragments with critical commentaries of c. 900 ancient historians (over 6,000,000 words!), involving a team of over 170 scholars in 19 countries.

In addition to many conference papers worldwide, he has given invited talks and keynote addresses win Australia, America, Canada, the UK, several European countries, Brazil, and Japan, as well as national and radio and TV interviews and podcasts, founded the Orality and Literacy in Ancient Greece conference series, appeared in the 2011 BBC TV series Ancient Worlds, and has a ‘Great Courses’ DVD and CD titled The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World, released in 2008.

In December 2019 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (London).

In October 2020 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London)

Also in 2019, he and Assoc. Prof. David Pritchard (UQ) won an ARC Discovery Project Grant of $141,236 for a 3-year project (starting 2020) titled 'Democratic Athens at War'.

Community engagement

Selected Engagements:

Various talks to local schools (Years 11-12) as well as:

Athens Falls to Rome: Capturing the Rude Conqueror, ‘History and Culture Public Seminar Series’, Greek Community of Melbourne, Melbourne: 2019.

Interview about Roman Athens for ‘Greek Language’ (SBS Radio, Australia): 2019.

Interview about Herostratus and the burning of the temple at Ephesus for ‘This Week in History’ on Nightlife (ABC Radio, Australia): 2019.

Alexander and Philip II: Great Then, Great Now?Australian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), Sydney: 2019.

Alexander the Great: Truly Great?’, 37thannual Greek Festival of Sydney, sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW, Parliament House Sydney: 2019.

Interview about Greek and Roman citizenship for ‘The History of Citizenship’ on Rear Vision presented by Annabelle Quince (Radio National, Australia): 2017.

‘Ptolemy I of Egypt and the Successors’: The Life of Alexander the Greatpodcast series, no. 111, published by The Podcast Network (thepodcastnetwork.com): 2017.

‘Alexander the Great’, The Life of Alexander the Greatpodcast series, no. 50, published by The Podcast Network (thepodcastnetwork.com): 2016.

Interview about Alexander the Great with Serious Sciencejournal (Moscow, Russia), as part of its issue on antiquity: 2016.

Ptolemy I of Egypt: Alexander the Great’s Greatest Successor?: Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery Annual Lecture, University of Missouri, USA: 2016.

By the Spear: Philip II and Alexander the Great. Book event (showcasing By the Spear) and lecture on Philip and Alexander to coincide with ‘The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander’ exhibit, Field Museum, Chicago, invited by the Hellenic-American Leadership Council and the Greek Consul General of Chicago, USA: 2016.

Macedonia’s Empire and Legacy: History Series, Salisbury House, Iowa, USA: 2014.

Interviewed by Howard Leader for his BBC Radio 4 (UK) History program about Philip II and my book: aired August 24, 2008.

Interviewed by Terry Jones about Alexander the Great and my Alexander biography for his BBC Radio 4 (UK) Heroes and Villainsseries: aired January 11, 2003.

Athens in the Age of Alexander the Great: From Fordyce Mitchel to Today, 12thAnnual Fordyce Mitchel Memorial Lecture, University of Missouri, USA: 1999.

Alexander the Great – Legend and RealityEstia Greek Festival, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia: 1997.

The Universality and Immortality of Greek, ‘National Languages of the European Union: Present and Future of Greek’ conference, sponsored by the European Parliament, Athens, Greece: 1995.

Numerous radio, magazine, and newspaper interviews over the years on aspects of the ancient world.

Research student supervision

Jenna Rice, 'Animals in Ancient Greek Warfare: A Study of the Elephant, Camel, and Dog' (University of Missouri-Columbia)

Taylor Gruman, 'Ruling Powers in Thessaly' (University of Missouri-Columbia)


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