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Prof. Thomas Harrison

Professor of Ancient History

tehh@st-andrews.ac.uk

Phone: 01334 462615

Research profile

Research Interests

  • Greek history, especially archaic and classical 
  • The Achaemenid Persian empire
  • Greek historiography, especially Herodotus, Thucydides and the Alexander historians
  • Greek contact with, and Greek representations of, foreign peoples, especially Persians, Egyptians and Thracians
  • The history of the study of Classics and of the Ancient Near East from the nineteenth century 
  • Ancient imperialism; a new obsession is ancient slavery and its wider impact on Greek culture

Current research projects

I have two main current projects: the first, a book for a wider audience on Herodotus and his reception (especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries); the second, a study of the role of belief in ancient Greek religion.

Research Students

  • I have supervised doctorates on a wide range of topics in Greek history and classical receptions, including Greek ethnography, Athenian slavery, Herodotus’ use of his written sources, Greek atheism, the reception of Alexander the Great, and the religious stance of modern scholars on ancient Greek religion.  
  • I am currently supervising PhDs on the reception of Herodotus in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the role of Classics in the inter-war period in Britain, the Persian background to Alexander the Great, and the relationship between Achaemenid history and the Iranian epic tradition. 
  • I am happy to supervise in any of the areas listed above under ‘research interests’ and am always open to discussing possible topics and approaches. 

 

 

Publications

Interpreting Herodotus
Harrison, T. E. H. & Irwin, E. (ed.), 22 Mar 2018, Oxford: OXFORD UNIV PRESS. 448 p.
Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

Polybius and his World. Essays in Memory of F.W. Walbank
Gibson, B. & Harrison, T., 2013, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 432 p.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Writing Ancient Persia
Harrison, T., 2011, London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Empires of the Ancient World
Harrison, T., 2009, Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome
Bispham, E., Harrison, T. & Sparkes, B. A., 2006, Edinburgh University Press.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Theo Doron: Festschrift for Theo Zinn
Harrison, T., Instone, S. & Brown, P., 2006, Gracewing.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Greeks and Barbarians
Harrison, T. E. H., 2001, Edinburgh University Press.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Divinity and History. The Religion of Herodotus
Harrison, T. E. H., 2000, Oxford University Press.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

The Emptiness of Asia. Aeschylus' Persians and the History of the Fifth Century
Harrison, T. E. H., 2000, Duckworth. 191 p.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

 

Belief vs. practice
Harrison, T., Eidinow, E. (ed.) & Kindt, J. (ed.), Oct 2015, The Oxford Handbook to Greek Religion. Eidinow, E. & Kindt, J. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199642038.013.3
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Herodotus on the character of Persian imperialism (7.5-11)
Harrison, T. & Fitzpatrick-McKinley, A. (ed.), 2015, Assessing Biblical and Classical Sources for the Reconstruction of Persian Influence, History and Culture. Harrassowitz Verlag, p. 9-48
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Exploring Virgin fields. Henry and George Rawlinson on Ancient and Modern Orient
Harrison, T., Almagor, E. (ed.) & Skinner, J. (ed.), 2013, Ancient Ethnography. New Approaches. Bloomsbury, p. 223-55
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The long arm of the King (Hdt. 8. 140-142)
Harrison, T., Truschnegg, B. (ed.), Bichler, R. (ed.) & Rollinger, R. (ed.), 2011, Herodot und das Persische Weltreich. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, p. 65-74
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Reinventing Achaemenid Persia
Harrison, T., Curtis, J. (ed.) & Simpson, S-J. (ed.), 2010, The World of Achaemenid Persia. History, Art and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East . London: IB Tauris, p. 21-31
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Oliver Stone, Alexander, and the unity of mankind
Harrison, T., Cartledge, P. (ed.) & Rose Greenland, F. (ed.), 2009, Responses to Oliver Stone’s Alexander. Film, History, and Cultural Studies. Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press, p. 219-42
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The Greeks
Harrison, T. & Erskine, A. (ed.), 2009, Blackwell Companion to Ancient History . Blackwells, p. 213-21
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

“Respectable in its ruins”: Achaemenid Persia, Ancient and Modern’, in L. Hardwick and C. Stray (eds.)
Harrison, T., Hardwick, L. (ed.) & Stray, C. (ed.), 2008, Blackwell Companion to Classical Reception . Vol. 2008. p. 50-61
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Greek Religion and literature
Harrison, T. & Ogden, D. (ed.), 2007, Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion . p. 373-84
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Religion and the rationality of the Greek city
Harrison, T., Goldhill, S. (ed.) & Osborne, R. (ed.), 2007, Rethinking Revolutions . Cambridge University Press, p. 124-40
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The place of geography in Herodotus’ Histories
Harrison, T., Adams, C. (ed.) & Roy, J. (ed.), 2007, Travel, Geography and Culture in Ancient Greece and the Near East. Oxbow, p. 44-65
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The cause of things: envy and the emotions in early Greek historiography
Harrison, T., Konstan, D. (ed.) & Rutter, K. (ed.), 2003, Envy, Spite, Jealousy: The Rivalrous Emotions in Ancient Greece. Edinburgh University Press, p. 143-63
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

“Prophecy in reverse”? Herodotus and the origins of history
Harrison, T., Derow, P. (ed.) & Parker, R. (ed.), 2003, Herodotus and his World. Essays from a Conference in Memory of George Forrest. Oxford University Press, p. 237-55
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The Persian invasions
Harrison, T., Bakker, E. (ed.), de Jong, I. (ed.) & van Wees, H. (ed.), 2002, Brill’s Companion to Herodotus . Brill, p. 551-78
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Sicily in the Athenian Imagination: Thucydides and the Persian Wars
Harrison, T. E. H., 2000, Ancient Sicily from Aeneas to Cicero. Smith, CJ. & Serrati, J. (eds.). Edinburgh University Press
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Templum mundi totius: Ammianus and a religious ideal of Rome
Harrison, T. E. H., 1999, The Late Roman World and its Historian: interpreting Ammianus Marcellinus. Hunt, ED. & Drijvers, JW. (eds.). Routledge, p. 178-190
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Aeschylus, Atossa and Athens
Harrison, T. & Dabrowa, E. (ed.), 1998, Ancient Iran and the Mediterranean World. Jagiellonian University Press, p. 69-86
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Herodotus and the ancient Greek idea of rape
Harrison, T., Deacy, S. (ed.) & Pearce, K. (ed.), 1997, Rape in Antiquity. Classical Press of Wales, p. 185-208
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Herodotus and the certainty of divine retribution
Harrison, T. & Lloyd, AB. (ed.), 1997, What is a God? Studies in the Nature of Greek Divinity . Classical Press of Wales, p. 101-22
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

Classical Greek ethnography and the slave trade
Harrison, T., Apr 2019, In : Classical Antiquity. 38, 1, p. 36-57 https://doi.org/10.1525/ca.2019.38.1.36
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Review article: Beyond the polis? New approaches to Greek religion
Harrison, T., 2015, In : Journal of Hellenic Studies. 135 https://doi.org/10.1017/S0075426915000129
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herodotus on the American empire
Harrison, T., 2009, In : Classical World. 102, p. 383-94
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ancient and modern imperialism
Harrison, T., 2008, In : Greece and Rome. 55, p. 1-22
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Coming of age in ancient Greece - Images of childhood from the classical past
Harrison, T., 30 Jan 2004, In : TLS, The Times Literary Supplement. p. 26-26 1 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mastering the landscape
Harrison, T., 2004, In : Electrum: studies in ancient history. 8 , p. 27-33 6 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Trying Neaira: The true story of a courtesan's scandalous life in ancient Greece
Harrison, T., 15 Aug 2003, In : TLS, The Times Literary Supplement. p. 25-25 1 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herodotus
Harrison, T., 2003, In : Journal of Hellenic Studies. 123, p. 222-224 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herodotus' views of nature
Harrison, T., 2003, In : Journal of Hellenic Studies. 123, p. 222-224 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Linguistics into interpretation. Speeches of war in Herodotus VII 5 and 8-11
Harrison, T., 2003, In : Journal of Hellenic Studies. 123, p. 222-224 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Black Athena writes back - Martin Bernal responds to his critics
Harrison, T., 19 Apr 2002, In : TLS, The Times Literary Supplement. p. 11-11 1 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ancient history: Key themes and approaches
Harrison, T., 2001, In : Classical Review. 51, p. 439-440 2 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herodotus and The English Patient
Harrison, T., 1998, In : Histos. 5, p. 48-63
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herodotus' conception of foreign languages
Harrison, T., 1998, In : Histos. 2
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

Teaching

  • Honours modules on Persia and the Greeks, The Greeks and Others, and Alexander the Great.
  • Coordination and contributions to the first-year module on Greek history, and to other team-taught modules.
  • Various contributions to the MLitt in Classics; the supervision of MLitt and undergraduate dissertations. 

Academic career

I studied both for my undergraduate degree (in Ancient and Modern History, 1990) and my doctorate (supervised by Professors David Lewis and Robert Parker, 1995) at Wadham College, Oxford. The first of my three stints at St Andrews was as a Teaching and Research Fellow (temporary lecturer) from 1995 to 1997.  Then I went to the Department of History at UCL as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (1997-2000), before returning to St Andrews to a lectureship in Ancient History (2000-2004).  I moved to Liverpool in 2004 where I spent 11 happy years as Rathbone Professor of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, before returning to the intellectual paradise of St Andrews in 2015.    

I have been involved for a long time in attempts to support and widen access to the teaching of Classics and Ancient History in schools, through work with the Joint Association of Classical Teachers and now as a trustee of Classics for All and as Chair of Council of the Classical Association of Scotland (2016-).

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