Professor Paul Cartledge

AG Leventis Professor of Greek Culture


I teach ancient Greek and Roman history at Cambridge University. I am also a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge (the college of Sir David Attenborough). I specialise in all aspects of the history of ancient Greece – sports, sex, politics, war, economics, etc etc – between about 700 and 300 BC, with an added focus on the continuing impact of ancient Greek achievements on our own societies and cultures today. The subjects of recent schools talks I have given include the Battle of Marathon’s 2500th anniversary (in 2010/1), the ancient Olympics compared with the modern Games (2012), and whether or not ancient Sparta was a ‘totalitarian’ society (the new ‘300’ movie sequel throws no new light on ancient Sparta and is in my humble opinion best avoided…). I have recently been involved with a new translation by Tom Holland of the world’s first historian, Herodotus, which was published by Penguin in 2013. Currently, I’m working on a book about ancient Greek democracy compared – or rather contrasted – with our modern versions of what we call ‘democracy’.

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