Professor Andrew Erskine

Professor of Ancient History


I studied Ancient History and Philosophy (formally Literae Humaniores) at New College Oxford, where I stayed to do a doctorate on the political thought of the Hellenistic Stoa under the supervision of George Forrest and Peter Derow. I have taught in Edinburgh since 2005, where I was made Professor of Ancient History in 2007. I was head of Classics from 2005 to 2008. Previously I have been Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Birmingham (1986-87), University of Wales Fellow at University College Swansea (1989-90), Lecturer in Classics at University College Dublin (1990-2002) and Professor of Classics at the University of Galway (2002-4). I was a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich in 1997-98 and held Leverhulme Research Fellowships in 2008-9 and 2021-22. In 2015 I was elected a Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI).

My fascination with the ancient world began at Southend High School in Essex, helped on its way by some inspiring teachers and the fortuitous appearance of I Claudius on TV. A full CV would also include time spent as bus conductor for Eastern National, an obsolete occupation in a company that no longer exists.

Responsibilities & affiliations

A selection:

Series editor, Edinburgh Studies in Hellenistic History and Culture (Edinburgh University Press)

General editor, The Encyclopedia of the Ancient History (Wiley-Blackwell)

Member, editorial board, Clarendon Ancient History Series (Oxford University Press)

Editor and editorial board, Brill New Jacoby

Member, editorial board, Journal of Greek Archaeology

Member, editorial board, Ricerche ellenistiche

Member, Advisory board, Classics Ireland

Research Associate, Trinity College Dublin

Member, Edinburgh University Press Academic Committee

Current PhD students supervised

  • Ellis, Sam. PhD. The discourse of one-man rule and its justification in the context of the Greek poleis from the Archaic Period to the Early Hellenistic Period. Secondary
  • Mazloum, Gladys. PhD. Characterization in the Histories of Polybius. Primary
  • McCaffrey, David. PhD. Post-Conflict Settlement in the Seleucid empire. Primary
  • Moodie, Meg. PhD.. Funerary Architecture of Ancient North Africa from the Prehistoric to the Third Century BCE. Secondary
  • Velliou, Panagiota. PhD. Language and Politics in the World of the Hellenistic Poleis: the Evidence of Inscriptions. Joint. link

Past PhD students supervised

  • Herzogenrath-Amelung, Tristan. PhD. A comparative analysis of military loyalty in the armies of the Greek city-states and Hellenistic kingdoms. Primary. 2018
  • Valachova, Cas. PhD. The Political and philosophical strategies of Roman Epicureans in the Late Republic. Primary. Completed 201. 8link
  • Close, Elke. PhD. Megalopolis and the Achaean Koinon: Local identity and the federal state. Primary. Completed 2017. link
  • Gale, Liam. PhD. The Hellenistic Galatians: Representation and self-presentation. Primary. Completed 2017
  • Dubreuil, Raphaela. PhD. Theatrica and political action in Plutarch. Secondary. Completed 2017
  • Ito, Masayuki. PhD. Roman diplomatic methods in the middle republic. Primary. Completed 2016
  • Parmar, Hiteshkumar. PhD. Strabo and India. Secondary. Completed 2016
  • Nenci, Nicola. PhD. Taking Apollo by the horns. Reconsidering the cult(s) of Apollo Karneios in the Mediterranean. Secondary. Completed 2016. link
  • Murray, Lauren. PhD. Aristocratic fathers and sons in the middle and late Roman republic. Primary. Completed 2015
  • Holton, John. PhD. The image of the Basileus: The common character of royal self-presentation in the early Hellenistic world (323-276 BC). Primary. Completed 2014
  • Lu, Houliang. PhD. Xenophon’s Theory of Moral Education. Secondary. Completed 2014
  • Megrelis, Marc. PhD. Religion and cultural conservatism in Lycia: Xanthos and the Letoon. Primary. Completed 2013. link
  • Liong, Katherine. PhD. Cicero de re militari: a civilian perspective on military matters in the late republic. Primary. Completed 2011
  • Wallace, Shane. PhD. The Freedom of the Greeks in the Early Hellenistic Period. A Study of the Ruler/City Relations. Primary. Completed 2011

Research summary

My research has concentrated on Hellenistic history and thought, and on the relationship between Greeks and Romans at the time of Roman expansion into the Greek world. I am particularly interested in issues of cultural interaction, ethnicity, and local identity. I am currently completing a book on the Greek response to Rome in the fourth to second centuries BC, entitled Clouds from the West.

The list below is a subset of the information held on the University of Edinburgh PURE system, and includes Books, Chapters, Articles and Conference contributions. For a full list, including details of other publication types (e.g. reviews), please see the Edinburgh Research Explorer page for Professor Andrew Erskine.

Books - Authored

Waterfield, R. and Erskine, A. (2016) Plutarch: Hellenistic Lives Including Alexander the Great. Oxford University Press

Erskine, A. (2010) Roman Imperialism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Erskine, A. (2001) Troy between Greece and Rome: Local Tradition and Imperial Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Erskine, A. (1990) The Hellenistic Stoa: Political Thought and Action. London: Gerald Duckworth & Co.

Books - Edited

Canevaro, M., Erskine, A., Gray, B. and Ober, J. (eds.) (2018) Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science.Edinburgh: Edinburgh University PressDOI:

Erskine, A., Llewellyn-Jones, L. and Wallace, S. (eds.) (2017) The Hellenistic Court: Monarchic Power and Elite Society from Alexander to Cleopatra. Classical Press of WalesDOI:

Erskine, A., Bagnall, R., Brodersen, K., Champion, C. and Huebner, S. (eds.) (2013) The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. WileyDOI:

Erskine, A. and Llewellyn-Jones, L. (eds.) (2010) Creating a Hellenistic World. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales

Berry, D. and Erskine, A. (eds.) (2010) Form and Function in Roman Oratory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Bremmer, J. and Erskine, A. (eds.) (2010) The Gods of Ancient Greece: Identities and Transformations. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Erskine, A. (ed.) (2009) A Companion to Ancient History. Wiley-BlackwellDOI:

Erskine, A. (ed.) (2003) A Companion to the Hellenistic World. Oxford: Wiley-BlackwellDOI:


Erskine, A. (2004) Book review: B. Dignas, Economy of the Sacred in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor. The Journal of Roman Studies (JRS), pp. 263 - 264DOI:

Erskine, A. (2003) Cicero and the Shaping of Hellenistic Philosophy. Hermathena, 175, pp. 5-15

Erskine, A. (2002) Life after death: Alexandria and the body of Alexander. Greece and Rome, 49, pp. 163-179

Erskine, A. (2000) Polybios and Barbarian Rome. Mediterraneo Antico 3, pp. 165-182

Erskine, A. (1998) Cato, Caesar and the Name of the Republic in Lucan 2. Scholia 7, pp. 118-20

Erskine, A. (1998) Trojan Horseplay in Rome. Dialogos: Hellenic Studies Review 5, 5, pp. 131-38

Erskine, A. (1997) Delos, Aeneas and IG XI.4.756. Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik, pp. 133-37

Erskine, A. (1997) Greek Gifts and Roman Suspicion. Classics Ireland, pp. 33-45

Erskine, A. (1997) Greekness and Uniqueness: the Cult of the Senate in the Greek East. Phoenix 51, pp. 25-37

Erskine, A. (1996) Money-Loving Romans. Papers of the Leeds International Latin Seminar, pp. 1-11

Erskine, A. (1995) Culture and power in Ptolemaic Egypt: The Museum and Library of Alexandria. Greece and Rome, 42(1), pp. 38-48

Erskine, A. (1991) Hellenistic monarchy and Roman political invective. The Classical Quarterly, 41(1), pp. 106-120DOI:


Erskine, A. (2020) Changes of fortune: Polybius and the transformation of Greece. In: Klooster, J. and Kuin, I. (eds.) After the Crisis: Remembrance, Re-anchoring and Recovery in Ancient Greece and Rome. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 65-81

Erskine, A. (2018) Standing up to the Demos: Plutarch, Phocion and the democratic life. In: Canevaro, M. and Gray, B. (eds.) The Hellenistic Reception of Classical Athenian Democracy and Political Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 237-259DOI:

Erskine, A. (2014) Ruler cult and the Early Hellenistic City. In: Hauben, H. and Meeus, A. (eds.) The Age of the Successors and the Creation of the Hellenistic Kingdoms (323-276 B.C.). Peeters, pp. 579-598

Erskine, A. (2013) Encountering Carthage: Mid-Republican Rome and Mediterranean culture. In: Gardner, A., Herring, E. and Lomas, K. (eds.) Creating Ethnicities & Identities in the Roman World. Oxford University Press, pp. 113-129

Erskine, A. (2013) The view from the East. In: Prag, J. and Crawley Quinn, J. (eds.) The Hellenistic West: Rethinking the Ancient Mediterranean. Cambridge University Press, pp. 14-34

Erskine, A. (2013) How to rule the world: Polybius Book 6 reconsidered. In: Gibson, B. and Harrison, T. (eds.) Polybius and his World: Essays in Memory of F.W. Walbank. Oxford University Press, pp. 231-246

Erskine, A. (2013) Founding Alexandria in the Alexandrian imagination. In: Ager, S. and Faber, R. (eds.) Belonging and Isolation in the Hellenistic World. University of Toronto Press, pp. 169-183DOI:

Erskine, A. (2013) Polybius and Ptolemaic sea power. In: Buraselis, K., Stefanou, M. and Thompson, D. (eds.) The Ptolemies, the Sea and the Nile: Studies in Waterborne Power. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 82-96

Erskine, A. (2012) Polybius among the Romans: Life in the Cyclops' Cave. In: Smith, C. and Yarrow, L. (eds.) Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius. Oxford University Press, pp. 17-32DOI:

Berry, D. and Erskine, A. (2010) Form and function. In: Berry, D. and Erskine, A. (eds.) Form and Function in Roman Oratory. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-17

Erskine, A. (2009) Ancient History and National Identity. In: Erskine, A. (ed.) A Companion to Ancient History. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 555-63

Erskine, A. (2007) Cicero and the Expression of Grief. In: S Morton Braund, C. (ed.) The Passions in Roman Thought and Literature. Cambridge University Press, pp. 36-47

Erskine, A. (2006) Rhetoric and Persuasion in the Hellenistic World: Speaking up for the Polis. In: Worthington, I. (ed.) A Companion to Greek Rhetoric. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp. 272-85

Erskine, A. (2005) Unity and Identity: Shaping the Past in the Greek Mediterranean. In: Gruen, E. (ed.) Cultural Borrowings and Ethnic Appropriations in Antiquity (Oriens et Occidens 8). Franz Steiner, pp. 121-136

Erskine, A. (2004) The Trojan War in Italy: Myth and Local Tradition. In: Moron, J., Andreotti, G. and Ponce, F. (eds.) Historia y Mito: el pasado legendario como fuente de autoriadad. Centro de Ediciones de la Diputacion de Malaga, pp. 97-107

Erskine, A. (2003) Approaching the Hellenistic World. In: Erskine, A. (ed.) A Companion to the Hellenistic World.Oxford: Blackwell

Erskine, A. (2003) Distant Cousins and International Relations: Syngeneia in the Hellenistic World. In: K Buraselis, K. (ed.) The Idea of European Community in History: Aspects of Connecting Poleis and Ethne in Ancient Greece. Athens: Education Centre of Greece, pp. 203-216

Erskine, A. (2002) O Brother, Where are thou? Tales of Kinship and Diplomacy. In: Ogden, D. (ed.) New Perspectives on the Hellenistic World. London/Swansea: University of Wales Press/Duckworth, pp. 97-115

Erskine, A. (1999) Zenon. In: Brodersen, K. (ed.) GroBe Gestalten der griechischen Antike: 58 historische Portraits von Homer bis Kleopatra. C H Beck, pp. 414-20

Conference contribution

Erskine, A. (2015) Polybius and the anger of the Romans. In:  Emotions Between Greece and Rome. Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London