Classics > People > Faculty Members > Katherine Clarke

Dr Katherine Clarke
MA DPhil Oxf


Fellow, St Hilda's College
Associate Professor in Ancient History, Faculty of Classics


St Hilda's College

Tel No: (01865) 276856

Dr Katherine Clarke


Katherine Clarke teaches mostly late republican and early imperial Roman History, covering the fascinating period of dynamic change during which Rome moved from a relatively democratic form of rule to the monarchical power of, albeit often benevolent, emperors. Her research interests, however, range much more widely. She has published extensively on the works of Roman historians such as Tacitus, with his cynical take on the world of imperial power, and Polybius, who witnessed and analysed the rise of Rome as a global ruler. Both of her books to date focus on the Hellenistic period during which Rome began to emerge as the leading world power. Her first book concerns the geographical tradition and examines the way in which Greek writers were forced to reevaluate their conceptions of the world in the light of Roman imperialism; this work focuses particularly on the geographer, Strabo, who left the only extensively surviving geographical description from antiquity (17 books), covering the whole known world. Her second book shifts the focus from space to time, examining the conception and articulation of time in the Greek world, especially in the context of local history. By looking at the construction of the past through the medium of local historiography, it offers an insight into how different versions of the past and different constructions of time were offered to the community for approval. Besides publishing widely, she has appeared as invited speaker at many international conferences - from New York to Kyoto, the Basque country, Strasbourg, Milan, Essen, as well as in the UK. Dr Clarke is currently working on a book on Herodotus and his presentation of the natural world.

Research Keywords:

Greek and Roman historiography (especially Herodotus and Tacitus), ancient geographical traditions (especially in the late Hellenistic period), concepts of time, local and universal history.

Selected Publications:

Making Time for the Past: Local History and the Polis, ((Oxford University Press, 2008; paperback edition 2011) 2011).

In preparation: A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place: Man and Nature in the Histories of Herodotus, (2011).

'D'une Méditerranée de pirates et de barbares ' une Méditerranée cœur de civilisation: Strabon et la construction d'un concept unifié dans le cadre romain', Rico C (ed.), Pallas: revue d'etudes antiques, Vol: 79, (2009), 295-303.

Making time for the past, (Oxford University Press, USA 2008-06-02).

'Text and Image: Mapping the Roman World', in F.-H. Mutschler and A. Mittag (eds.), Conceiving the Empire: China and Rome Compared , (Oxford University Press, 2008 2008), 195-215.

Text and Image: Mapping the Roman World, in Conceiving the empire: China and Rome Compared, Mittag A (ed.), (Oxford University Press, USA 2008), 195-215.

'Les fragments de Posidonios chez Athénée', in D. Lenfant (ed.), Athénée et les fragments d'historiens. Actes du colloque de Strasbourg 16-18 juin 2005, (De Boccard, Paris, 2007 2007), 291-302.

'Parochial Tales in a Global Empire: Creating and Recreating the World of the Itinerant Historian', in L. Troiani and G. Zecchini (eds.) La Cultura storica nei primi due Secoli dell'Impero romano, (Rome, 2005 2005), 111-28.

'In arto et inglorius labor: Tacitus' anti-history', in A.K. Bowman, H.M. Cotton, M. Goodman and S.R.F. Price (eds.) Representations of Empire. Rome and the Mediterranean World., ((Oxford and The British Academy, 2002) 2002), 83-103.

'An Island Nation: Re-reading Tacitus' Agricola', (Journal of Roman Studies 2001), 94-112.

Between Geography and History: Hellenistic Constructions of the Roman World, (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999; paperback edition 2001) 2001).

'In Search of the Author of Strabo's Geography', (Journal of Roman Studies 1997), 92-110.