Classics > People > Faculty Members > Rosalind Thomas

Prof. Rosalind Thomas
MA Oxf, PhD Lond


Fellow and Tutor in Classics, Balliol College
Professor of Ancient Greek History, Faculty of Classics


Balliol College

Tel No: (01865) 277749

Prof. Rosalind Thomas

Research Keywords:

Ancient literacy, oral tradition and orality, performance culture; Greek law and society; Greek historiography; Greeks and barbarians, Greeks and the Persian Empire, 'local history' and the polis.

Research Interests:

Greek political, cultural and intellectual history; literacy, oral tradition and orality in the Greek world; Greek historiography, especially Herodotus, Thucydides, 4th c. historiography; Greek law and society - origins of Greek law; Greek interaction with the Persian empire, Greeks and barbarians; the Greek city-state and its past.

Selected Publications:

'Truth and Authority in Herodotus' Histories: False stories and True stories', in Herodotus: New Research, E. Bowie (ed.), (de Gruyter in press), 265-84.

'Thucydides and his Intellectual Milieu', in Oxford Handbook of Thucydides, S. Forsdyke, E. Foster, R. Balot (eds.), (2017), ch. 33, 567-86.

'Performance, audience participation and the dynamics of the fourth-century Assembly and Jury-Courts of Athens', in Die Athenische Demokratie im 4. Jahrhundert, Claudia Tiersch (ed.), (Stuttagrt 2016), 80-108.

'The Greek Polis and the Tradition of Polis history: local history, Chronicles and the Patterning of the Past': chapter 7, in Patterns of the Past. Epitedeumata in the Greek Tradition, A. Moreno & R. Thomas (eds.), (OUP 2014 Nov), 145-172.

Herodotus and Eastern myths and Logoi: Deioces the Mede and Pythius the Lydian, in Myth, Truth and Narrative in Herodotus, Baragwanath E (eds.), (Oxford University Press 2012).

Pindar's 'Difficulty' and the performance of epinician poetry: some suggestions from ethnography, in Reading the Victory Ode, Carey C, Agocs P, Rawls R (eds.), (Cambridge University Press 2012).

Review of Brill's New Jacoby On-line, Mnemosyne: a journal of classical studies, (2012), 872-76.

'And you the demos made an uproar': Performance, mass audience and text in the Athenian Democracy, in Literacy, Orality and Religion, Lardinois A, Blok J (eds.), (Brill 2011), 161-187.

Herodotus' Persian Ethnography, in Herodot und das Persische Reich, Rollinger R, Truschnegg B, Bichler R (eds.), (2011), 237-254.

Thucydides and Social Change: between Akribeia and Universality', in The Western Time of Ancient History, Lianeri A (eds.), (Cambridge University Press 2011).

Review of Pébarthe, Cité, democratie et écriture. Histoire de l'alphabeetisation d'Athenes a l'époque classique, Klio: Beitraege zur Alten Geschichte, Vol: 92, (2010), 495-9.

The Origins of Western Literacy. Literacy in Ancient Greece and Rome., in The Cambridge Handbook of Literacy, (Cambridge University Press 2009), 346-361.

Writing, Reading, public and private 'literacies': functional literacy and democratic literacy in Greece, in Ancient literacies, Johnson WA, Parker HN (eds.), (Oxford University Press, USA 2009), 13-45.

'Fame, Memorial and Choral poetry: the origins of epinician poetry - an historical study', in Pindar's Poetry, Patrons, and Festivals from Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire, ed. C. Morgan & S. Hornblower, (OUP 2007), 141-166.

'The Intellectual Milieu of Herodotus' for Cambridge Companion to Herodotus, ed. J. Marincola and C. Dewald, (CUP 2006), 60-75.

'Thucydides' Intellectual Milieu and the Plague', in Brill Companion to Thucydides, ed. A. Rengakos & Tsakmakis, (Leiden 2006), 87-108.

'Writing, law and written law', in Cambridge Companion to Greek Law, ed. M. Gagarin & D. Cohen, (2005), 41-60.

Drew Gerstle, Rosalind Thomas & Stephanie Jones, eds., Performance Literature of special edition of journal Oral Tradition, (2005).

'Herodotus, Ionia and the Athenian Empire', in The World of Herodotus, ed. V. Karageorghis and I.Taifacos, (Cyprus 2004), 27-42.

'Prose performance texts: Epideixis and Written Publication in the late 5th. and early 4th.c.', in H. Yunis, ed., Written Texts and the Rise of Literate Culture in Ancient Greece, (CUP 2003), 162-168.

'Ethnicity, Genealogy and Hellenism in Herodotus and Fifth-century Greece', Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity, ed. Irad Malkin, (2001).

'Literacy in Ancient Greece: functional literacy, oral education and the development of a literate environment', for volume on Literacy, Education and Social Development: On the Making of literate societies, ed. David Olson, (Blackwell 2001), 68-81.

Herodotus and the Floating gap, in The Dawn of Historiography. Oral Traditions, uses of the past and the writing of history in fifth-century Greece, ed. N. Luraghi, (OUP 2001), 198-210.

Herodotus in Context: Ethnography, Science and the Art of Persuasion, (CUP 2000).

'Ethnography, Proof and Argument in Herodotus' Histories', (PCPS 43 1997), 128-48.

'Written in stone' Liberty, equality, orality and the codification of law', (BICS 40 1995), 59-74.

'Law and the lawgiver in the Athenian democracy', in Ritual, Finance, Politics. Athenian Democratic Accounts presented to David Lewis, Robin Osborne and Simon Hornblower. (eds.), (Oxford 1994), 119-133.

'Literacy and the city-state in archaic and classical Greece', in Literacy and Power, Alan Bowman and G. Woolf (eds.), (CUP 1994), 33-50.

Literacy and Orality in Ancient Greece (Key Themes in Ancient History), (CUP 1992).

Oral Tradition and Written Record in Classical Athens, (Cambridge University Press 1989).