Professor Emeritus of Classics


Kurt A. Raaflaub (Greek and Roman History) retired from Brown in 2009 but remains connected with the university and department. Having (co-)edited three volumes (Epic and History; Geography and Ethnography; The Roman Empire in Context) in 2010-11 in his series, The Ancient World, Comparative Histories, he is preparing another, on thinking and writing history in the ancient world. He is also editor of The Landmark Caesar (comprising all of Caesar's works) and working on two major research projects, one a commentary on Julius Caesar's Civil War, the other a book on early Greek political thinking in its Mediterranean context.

Education and employment: Ph.D. 1970, University of Basel, Switzerland; Asst. Prof. at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany (1972-78); Asst. to Full Professor at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (since 1978); chairman, Dept. of Classics, 1984-89; John Rowe Workman Distinguished Prof. of Classics and the Classical Tradition, 1989-1992; Co-Director (with Deborah Boedeker), Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington D.C. (1992-2000). David Herlihy University Professor & Professor of Classics & History at Brown University, 2001-9; Royce Family Professor in Teaching Excellence (2005-8); director, Program in Ancient Studies, 2000-9.

Current position: David Herlihy University Professor & Professor of Classics and History Emeritus.

Fellowships: 1976/77 Junior Fellowship at the Center for Hellenic Studies; 1983/4 Research Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies; 1989/90 Research Fellowship, National Endowment of the Humanities, and Member, Historisches Kolleg, Munich, Germany; 1996 Faculty Fellowship at the University of New England, Armidale NSW, Australia (summer); 2002 (spring) Research Fellowship at the Sackler Institute for Advanced Studies in Tel Aviv (declined); 2010-12 Mellon Emeritus Fellowship.

Main fields of interest: social and political history of the Roman republic; social, political, and intellectual history of archaic and classical Greece; comparative history of the ancient world.

Organized several international colloquia and conferences, including the annual meeting of the Amer. Association of Ancient Historians (1989 at Brown University), a conference on city-states in antiquity and medieval Italy (ibid. 1989) and a conference on beginnings of political thought in antiquity: the Near Eastern civilizations and archaic Greece (Munich 1990). Co-founder of the "Center for Hellenic Studies Colloquia" series (1994-2000); organizer (with Deborah Boedeker) of CHS Coll. 2, "Democracy, Empire and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens" (August 1995) and (with Nathan Rosenstein) of CHS Coll. 3, "War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds" (June 1996). Organized several conferences on the comparative history of the ancient world. Invited lectures at numerous international conferences, universities and colleges in the US and abroad.

Main publications: Books: Dignitatis contentio: Motivation and Political Strategy in Caesar's Civil War (Munich 1974, in German); The Discovery of Freedom in Ancient Greece (German ed. Munich 1985; revised and updated English ed. Chicago 2004). Books co-authored: Studies in the Delian League (Konstanz 1984, in German); Aspects of Athenian Democracy (Copenhagen 1990); Ancient History: Recent Work and New Directions (Claremont 1997); Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (Berkeley 2007). Books edited or co-edited: Social Struggles in Archaic Rome (Berkeley 1986; expanded and updated ed. Oxford, 2005); Between Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus and his Principate (Berkeley 1990, with M. Toher); City-States in Classical Antiquity and Medieval Italy (Stuttgart & Ann Arbor, Michigan 1991, with A. Molho and J. Emlen); Beginnings of Political Thought in the Ancient World: The Near-Eastern Civilizations and the Greeks (Munich 1993, in German); Democracy 2500? Questions and Challenges (Dubuque, Iowa, 1998, with I. Morris); Democracy, Empire, and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens (Cambridge Mass. 1998, with D. Boedeker); War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds (Washington DC 1999, with Nathan Rosenstein); War and Peace in the Ancient World (Malden Mass. & Oxford, 2007); Epic and History (ibid. 2010, with David Konstan); Geography and Ethnography: Perspectives of the World in Premodern Societies (ibid. 2010, with Richard Talbert); The Roman Empire in Context: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (ibid. 2011, with Johann Arnason); Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in the Ancient World (ibid. forthcoming); The Greek Polis and the Invention of Democracy: A Politico-cultural Transformation and Its Interpretation (ibid. forthcoming, with Johann Arnason and Peter Wagner). About 120 articles in journals and volumes of collected essays.

Work in progress: Early Greek Political Thought in a Mediterranean Context; a new edition of and historical-philological commentary on Caesar's Civil War (with Cynthia Damon and Gregory Bucher); editor, The Landmark Caesar.

Awards: The Discovery of Freedom in Ancient Greece
(Chicago: University Press, 2004) received the American Historical
Association's James Henry Breasted Prize for best book in English on
any period before 1000 CE.