Robert Garland

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Robert Garland

Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics

Department/Office Information

Classics, Linguistics
4A Lawrence Hall

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More than 2,000 Years Ago Sophocles Wrote About a Leader Who Contravenes Civil Norms

A new leader takes charge after a bitter power struggle. He is untested and lacks any previous political experience. He is eager to impose his will upon the fractured citizen body in the belief that the answer to the country’s ills is strong leadership. Rather than seek the path of compromise, in his first days of office he signs an executive order that is divisive and highly inflammatory. To make matters worse, it offends a cherished principle that the state upholds. But he goes ahead with it anyway. The consequence is that he finds himself on a collision course with civil society. When his order is challenged, he merely digs his heels in deeper. A crisis ensues in which the executive branch is at loggerheads with an upholder of the law. Full article: More than 2,000 Years Ago Sophocles Wrote About a Leader Who Contravenes Civil Norms

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BA Manchester University 1969; MA McMaster University 1973; PhD University College London 1981

  • Colgate University
  • Reading University
  • Keele University


Online (edX): Greeks at War: Homer at Troy

Ancient history and classics

Greek religion, Greek urban development, Greek society and social values, Athenian topography

  • Athens Burning: The Persian Invasion of Greece and the Evacuation of Attica (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017)
  • Wandering Greeks: The Ancient Greek Diaspora from the Age of Homer to the Death of Alexander the Great (Princeton University Press, 2014)
  • Ancient Greece: Everyday Life in the Birthplace of Western Civilization (Sterling, 2013)
  • Hannibal (Bristol Classical Press, 2010)
  • Celebrity in Antiquity: From Media Tarts to Tabloid Queens (Duckworth, 2006)
  • Surviving Greek Tragedy (Duckworth, 2004)
  • Julius Caesar (Bristol Phoenix Press, 2003)
  • Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks (Greenwood Press, 1998)
  • The Eye of the Beholder (Cornell University Press, 1995)
  • Religion and the Greeks (Bristol Classical Press, 1994)
  • Introducing New Gods (Cornell University Press, 1992)
  • The Greek Way of Life (Cornell University Press, 1990)
  • The Piraeus (Duckworth, 1987)
  • The Greek Way of Death (Cornell University Press, 1985)
  • Numerous articles on topics ranging from suicide to drinking to "Mother and Child in Ancient Greece" to sculpture and funerary reliefs to "Priests and Power in Classical Athens"
  • Journals include History Today, Omnibus, Annual of the British School at Athens, Ancient Society, Arion, Gnomon, and Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies

The Great Courses

Video Productions

  • Socrates on Death Row (2016)
  • Murder on the Ides (2009)

Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the Center for Hellenic Studies 1985-86, Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study Spring 1990; Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor at Bristol University 1995