School of History, Classics & Archaeology

About our staff

Photo of Douglas Cairns

Professor Douglas Cairns


Professor of Classics


Summary of research interests

  • Mediterranean
  • Ancient Civilisations
  • Culture
  • Gender
  • Ideas
  • Language & Literature
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Society
  • Antiquity

Research interests

I work on Greek society and ethics, especially the emotions, and especially as these are reflected in Greek epic, tragedy, and lyric poetry.

Watch a short video of Professor Cairns speaking about his research interests - Media Hopper

Current research activities

Language, emotion, and society in Classical Greece; Sophocles’ Antigone; history of distributed cognition; ancient emotions in Byzantine Greek; honour and status in classical Greece.

Research projects

Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship, Language, emotion, and society in Classical Greece (2008-11)

ERC-funded research project, Mind, Body, and Metaphor in Ancient Greek Concepts of Emotion (2012-13)

AHRC Research Grant, A History of Distributed Cognition (2014-17):

Leverhulme Trust International Research Network, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium (2016-18):

ERC Advanced Grant, Honour in Classical Greece (2018-22):