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Dr Ralph Anderson

Senior teaching fellow in ancient history
Director of Teaching, School Exams Officer, Impact Officer (vacations only), Subhonours Co-ordinator, AN & CL programme convener

Phone: 01334 462619

Room: C29

Research profile

Research Interests

My main research interests are in the lived experience of religion in ancient Greece, that is, how the religious views and practices of the Greeks were integrated into and impacted upon their daily lives and their practical understanding of the world around them and their place within it. By that I mean not only (or even mainly) their understanding of the natural world but also their understanding of the social world, what it means to be one person among many, all of whom have their own hopes, fears, desires and plans. Because of this, I am also interested in Greek divination and magic.

Current research projects

I am currently working on a couple of articles on Greek divination. Major projects include the publication of the proceedings of a conference on Belief and its Alternatives in Greek and Roman Religion which I organised in St Andrews in July 2010 and the revision of my PhD dissertation as a monograph for CUP provisionally entitled Dwelling with Divinity: Person, Place and Perception in Athenian Religion.


A story of blood, guts and guesswork: synthetic reasoning in classical Greek divination
Anderson, R. T. 5 Sep 2017 Prophets and Profits : Ancient Divination and Its Reception. Evans, R. (ed.). Routledge, Vol. Acta Classica Supplement 9, p. 50-64 14 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewChapter (peer-reviewed)

New Gods
Anderson, R. T. 2015 (Accepted/In press) The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion. Eidinow, E. & Kindt, J. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press
Research output: ResearchChapter

Theseus and Theseia
Anderson, R. T. 2011 The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Ancient History. Wiley-Blackwell
Research output: ResearchEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Anderson, R. T. 2011 The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Ancient History. Wiley-Blackwell
Research output: ResearchEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Kill or cure: Athenian judicial curses and the body in fear
Anderson, R. T. 2002 Practitioners, Practices and Patients: New Approaches to Medical Archaeology and Anthropology. Baker, P. A. & Carr, G. (eds.). Oxbow, p. 221-237
Research output: ResearchOther contribution


'To the victor the spoils: the cunning of Themistocles'
Anderson, R. T. 2009 Omnibus, 58, p. 14-16 3 p.
Research output: ResearchArticle


M. A. Flower, The Seer in Ancient Greece (book review)
Anderson, R. T. 28 Nov 2011 In : Journal of Hellenic Studies. 131, p. 230 230 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

R. C. T. Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens (book review)
Anderson, R. T. 2010 In : Ancient West and East. 9, p. 357-359 3 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Breaking out of the Footnotes (Review of J. B. Connolly, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece)
Anderson, R. T. May 2007 In : Times Higher Education Supplement. 18 May 2007
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

A. Purvis, Singular Dedications: Founders and Innovators of Private Cults in Classical Greece (book review)
Anderson, R. T. 2006 In : Journal of Hellenic Studies. 126, p. 184 1 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review


For further information on publications, please view my profile on the university's research portal.



I teach in three of the School’s four subhonours Ancient History modules: AN1001 ‘Greek History to Alexander the Great’, AN1002 ‘Rome from Foundation to Empire’ and AN2003 ‘Mediterranean Communities.’ I also lecture on Greek religious festivals in the Classical Studies module CL1004 ‘Myth and Community in Ancient Greek Literature and Culture.’ 


I currently teach Honours modules on Greek religion (CL4433), magic in the Greco-Roman world (CL4419), Herodotus (CL4406) and the reception of Classics in the modern world (CL4437).

Taught Postgraduate

I contribute a range of seminars to the MLitt core modules in Ancient History and Classical Studies, usually on one or more of on approaches to ancient religions and mentalities, Classics in the museum and Classics on film. I also offer a taught module on Greek religion and society and am happy to supervise dissertations on Greek religion and some aspects of the modern reception of Classics.

Academic career

I graduated from Downing College, Cambridge in 1997 with a degree in Classics, left for a year and then moved up the road slightly to Trinity Hall, where I did my MPhil and PhD between 1998 and 2003. I then worked briefly for the Cambridge School Classics Project before coming to St Andrews in 2004. Since arriving in St Andrews I have been variously a Teaching Fellow, Temporary Lecturer and now Senior Teaching Fellow.

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