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Professor James Davidson


Tel: 22134

Email: James dot Davidson at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

Research interests

Prof. James Davidson works on Greek social and cultural history and historiography. He has written articles on Polybius, Greek public bars and Dido and child-sacrifice and is a regular contributor to The London Review of Books, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. His first book, Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens was published in 1997. He has just published The Greeks and Greek Love for Weidenfeld and is currently working on a translation of some Attic speeches for Penguin Classics.

He served on the Council for the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies from 2001 to 2004, and was a member of the Classical Association Journals Board 2000–2010.

Teaching and supervision



Recent research degrees supervised include:

  • Sacred water in Greek religion (PhD)
  • Function and functionality of the vase in Athenian society (MPhil/PhD)
  • Boeotian Cults and Practices

Administrative roles

  • Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Classics and Ancient History in the academic year 2013/2014

Selected publications

  • 'Politics, poetics, and erôs in archaic poetry'. In: Sanders, Ed, (ed.) Erôs and the polis. BICS supplement (No.119). London: Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, 2013, pp. 5-37. ISBN 9781905670444 (In Press)
  • 'Citizen consumers : the Athenian democracy and the origins of Western consumption'. In: Trentmann, Frank, (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption. Oxford Handbooks in History . Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 23-46. ISBN 9780199561216.
  • 'Heracles to Alexander the Great'. TLS (No.5642), 2011, pp. 17-18. ISSN 0307-661X.
  • 'Bodymaps : sexing space and zoning gender in ancient Athens'. Gender & History, Vol.23 (No.3). pp. 597-614. ISSN 0953-5233.
  • The Greeks and Greek Love: a Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2007); recipient of the Mark Lynton History Prize 2010.
  • ‘Revolutions in Human Time. Age-Class in Athens and the Greekness of Greek Revolutions’, in S. Goldhill and R. Osborne, eds, Rethinking Revolutions through Ancient Greece (Cambridge University Press, 2006) 29–67.
  • ‘Making a Spectacle of Her(self). The Courtesan and the Art of the Present’, in M. Feldman and B. Gordon, eds, The Courtesan's Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2006) 29–51.
  • 'Dover, Foucault and Greek Homosexuality: Penetration and the Truth of Sex', Past and Present 170 (2001), 3-51 - awarded the George Mosse Prize for outstanding contribution to gay and lesbian studies.

Professional associations

  • Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies


  • MA (Oxford)
  • M.A., M.Phil. (Columbia)
  • D.Phil. (Oxford)

Office hours

On leave 2015/16.