About the Book

About the Author

Robin Osborne was educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School and at King's College Cambridge. At Colchester he came under the influence of A.F.J. Brown, who taught Greek and Latin but had a lifelong enthusiasm for local history, writing extensively about Essex in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and of Terence Doherty, who was employed as head of biology but whose real enthusiasm was for the history of art (and who combined his interests in an edition of The Anatomical Works of George Stubbs). At King's the dominant influences were Geoffrey Lloyd and John Henderson, but it was Peter Garnsey who inculcated rigorous historical method and Hugh Plommer who showed how much potential there was in classical archaeology.

Robin Osborne's PhD (1982) was written under the supervision of Anthony Snodgrass on the relationship of town and country in classical Athens. It was published as Demos: the Discovery of Classical Attika in 1985. Four years of research fellowship at King's enabled both the writing of a more general book on town and countryside in classical Greece (Classical Landscape with Figures: the Ancient Greek City and its Countryside, 1987) and forays into other areas of history (including Athenian law and religious history), archaeology, and art history (in particular a paper on the Parthenon frieze in Journal of Hellenic Studies 1987).

In 1986 Robin Osborne was appointed to a five-year fixed-term position at Magdalen College Oxford, as a colleague of Oliver Taplin, teaching Greek history and archaeology for Magdalen and Christ Church (where he came under the spell of David Lewis). An invitation from George Forrest to talk about archaic Attica to the Ancient History seminar led to the commission from Fergus Millar to take on the challenge of writing the volume covering archaic Greece for the Routledge Ancient History series.

By the time Greece in the Making, 1200–479 BC was published in 1996, Robin Osborne had a permanent CUF University Lecturership at Corpus Christi College Oxford, and a titular chair in ancient history. He was closely involved both with the invention of the undergraduate degree in archaeology and anthropology and with the M.St. degree in Women's Studies. His Archaic and Classical Greek Art was published in 1998, but the 1990s were particularly marked by a series of co-edited volumes, undertaken partly with former Cambridge colleagues (Simon Goldhill, Susan Alcock) and partly with colleagues in Oxford (Simon Hornblower).

Robin Osborne has been heavily involved with the support of classics and ancient history teaching in schools. On the editorial board of Omnibus since the late 1980s, he was chairman of the JACT Ancient History committee for five years, was responsible for thorough revisions of the LACTOR Athenian Empire and Old Oligarch volumes, edited the Short Oxford History of Europe volume on Classical Greece, and undertook the revision of the JACT World of Athens.

Since 2001 Robin Osborne has been Professor of Ancient History at the University of Cambridge. He directed a research project funded by the AHRC, The Anatomy of Cultural Revolution, examining the nature and causes of social and cultural change in Athens at the end of the fifth century BC. The conferences organised in connection with this project have been published as Rethinking Revolutions through Classical Greece and Debating the Athenian Cultural Revolution. He has also been involved in the Leverhulme-funded project Changing Beliefs of the Human Body and with an AHRC-funded research project in connection with the redisplay of the Greek and Roman galleries at the Fitzwilliam Museum. With P.J. Rhodes he has been responsible for the edition, translation and commentary on selected fourth-century inscriptions Greek Historical Inscriptions 404–323 BC. His Greek History was published in 2004 in the Routledge Classical Foundations series. He has continued to collaborate on edited volumes, in particular Classical Archaeology (with Susan Alcock) and Art's Agency and Art History (with Jeremy Tanner). In 2006 he gave the Martin Classical Lectures at Oberlin College, and in 2007 the Wiles Lectures at Queen's University Belfast.

A long-standing member of the editorial board of the Journal of Hellenic Studies, Robin Osborne also serves or has served on the editorial boards of American Journal of Archaeology, Art History, Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Past and Present, and World Archaeology. He was President of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies (2002–6) and has been Chairman of the Council of University Classical Departments since 2006.

A full list of Robin Osborne's publications is available at