Professor Bill Allan

Academic Background

I grew up in Bowhill, a former coal-mining village in Fife, Scotland. Thanks to the dedication and support of my teachers at Denend Primary School and Glenrothes High School, I became the first person in my family to attend University. I studied Classics and Gaelic at Edinburgh University and taught at Harvard University before coming to University College. I have been a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, the British Academy, and the Leverhulme Trust, and have also taught as a visiting Professor at Universities in Germany and Aotearoa New Zealand. 


Research Interests

I’m particularly interested in the literature and intellectual history of archaic and classical Greece.

Research Keywords

Archaic and Classical Greek literature


I teach all options in Greek and Latin languages and literature.


Selected Publications:

The Andromache and Euripidean Tragedy (Oxford University Press, 2000)
Euripides: The Children of Heracles (Aris and Phillips, 2001)
Euripides: Medea (Duckworth, 2002)
Euripides: Helen (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
Homer: The Iliad (Bloomsbury, 2012)
Classical Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Homer: The Odyssey (Introduction and Notes, Oxford World’s Classics, 2016)
Moralizing Strategies in Early Greek Poetry (Co-Editor, Mouseion LIX, University of Toronto Press, 2018)
Greek Elegy and Iambus: A Selection (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
Euripides: Bacchae. Co-authored with L. A. Swift (Cambridge University Press, 2024)

And many articles and chapters on early Greek literature.