P.J. Rhodes

P.J. Rhodes is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Durham.

What initially sparked your interest in ancient Greece history?

I enjoyed Classics at school, found that history suited me better than literature, and at Oxford particularly enjoyed Greek history with the help of a particularly charismatic tutor (W. G. Forrest).

Which individuals, events or forces are especially important in your area of history?

My own particular interest is in politics and political institutions, where I believe that both the formal institutions and the ways in which actual people behaved within the framework of those institutions, both critical events and long-term developments, are important.

Which areas of your field most urgently need further exploration?

In my specialist area the last comprehensive overall treatment was G. Busolt’s Griechische Staatskunde (1920–6). Since then there has been an enormous increase in the amount of epigraphic evidence; and there have been particular studies of individual institutions across various states, and of particular states, but nobody has attempted — and for one person it might no longer be feasible — an up-to-date overall treatment.

Which figure in history would you like to go back in time to meet and why?

In the history on which I focus there are many individuals important in different ways. Political figures like the Athenians Pericles and Demosthenes and thinkers and philosophers such as Herodotus, Thucydides and Aristotle. ■

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Books

Alcibiades (Pen and Sword, 2011)

A History of the Classical Greek World: 478 - 323 B.C. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)

The Greek City States: A Source Book (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

A History of the Classical Greek World, 478 - 323 B.C. (Blackwell, 2005)

Ancient Democracy and Modern Ideology (Duckworth, 2003)

Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404 - 323 B.C. (co-authored with Robin Osborne, Oxford University Press, 2003)