Greg Woolf

Gregory Duncan Woolf, FSA, FSA Scot, FBA (born 3 December 1961) is a British ancient historian, archaeologist, and academic. He specialises in the late Iron Age and the Roman Empire. Since January 2015, he has been the Director of the Institute of Classical Studies, and Professor of Classics at the University of London. He has previously taught at the University of Leicester and the University of Oxford. From 1998 to 2014, he was Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews.

Greg Woolf

Greg Woolf.jpg
Gregory Duncan Woolf

(1961-12-03) 3 December 1961 (age 58)
NationalityUnited Kingdom
TitleDirector of the Institute of Classical Studies (2015–present)
Academic background
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford
Trinity College, Cambridge
ThesisCultural change in central France under Roman rule (1991)
Academic work
DisciplineAncient history
InstitutionsUniversity of Leicester
Christ's College, Cambridge
Magdalen College, Oxford
Brasenose College, Oxford
Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford
University of St Andrews
University of London
Institute of Classical Studies

Early life and educationEdit

Woolf was born on 3 December 1961 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England.[1] He was educated at Bexhill Grammar School, a grammar school in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.[1] From 1981 to 1985, he studied ancient and modern history at Christ Church, Oxford.[2] He graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1985; as per tradition, this was later promoted to a Master of Arts (MA (Oxon)) degree.[3] From 1985 to 1990, he undertook postgraduate research in classics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1990.[2] His doctoral supervisors were Peter Garnsey, Keith Hopkins, Ian Hodder, and Sander van der Leeuw.[4] His doctoral thesis was titled "Cultural change in central France under Roman rule".[5]

Academic careerEdit

Woolf began his academic career while still studying for his doctorate; he was a part-time lecturer at the University of Leicester and a research fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. In 1990, he moved to the University of Oxford to teach ancient history and archaeology.[4] From 1990 to 1993, he was a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. Then, from 1993 to 1998, he was a fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford and a lecturer in the Faculty of Classics.[3][4]

In 1998, Woolf moved to the University of St Andrews to become Professor of Ancient History.[6] He was Head of the School of Classics between 2004 and 2009.[7] During the 2009 to 2010 academic year, he was visiting fellow at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt.[4][6] On 1 January 2015, he joined the University of London as Professor of Classics and Director of the Institute of Classical Studies.[6]

Woolf gave the Rhind Lectures for 2004/2005; the series was titled Men who turned towards the light: Cult and creativity in the Romans' world. The Rhind Lectures are a series of lectures on archaeology and they are hosted by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. In July 2012, he appeared on BBC Radio 4 as a guest on In Our Time to discuss Hadrian's Wall.[8] In December 2012, he appeared again on In Our Time, this time to discuss the Cult of Mithras.[9]


In 2016, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA),[10] and a Member of the Academia Europaea (MAE).[11] In July 2017, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.[12]

Selected worksEdit

  • Woolf, Greg (January 1994). "Becoming Roman, staying Greek: Culture, identity and the civilizing process in the Roman East". Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society. 40: 116–143. doi:10.1017/S0068673500001875.
  • Bowman, Alan K.; Woolf, Greg, eds. (1994). Literacy and power in the ancient world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521433693.
  • Woolf, Greg (1998). Becoming Roman: the origins of provincial civilization in Gaul. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521414456.
  • Woolf, Greg, ed. (2003). The Cambridge illustrated history of the Roman world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521827751.
  • Edwards, Catharine; Woolf, Greg, eds. (2003). Rome the cosmopolis. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521800051.
  • Woolf, Greg (2006). Et tu, Brute?: the murder of Caesar and political assassination. London: Profile Books. ISBN 978-1861977410.
  • Woolf, Greg (2011). Tales of the barbarians: ethnography and empire in the Roman West. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1405160735.
  • Woolf, Greg (2012). Rome: an empire's story. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199603084.
  • Hemelrijk, Emily; Woolf, Greg, eds. (2013). Women and the Roman City in the Latin West. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-9004255944.
  • König, Jason; Oikonomopoulou, Katerina; Woolf, Greg, eds. (2013). Ancient libraries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107012561.
  • König, Jason; Woolf, Greg, eds. (2013). Encyclopaedism from antiquity to the Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107038233.


  1. ^ a b "Woolf, Prof. Gregory Duncan". Who's Who 2019. 1 December 2018. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.001.0001/ww-9780199540884-e-289687. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae – Greg Woolf". 8 April 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Greg Woolf". LinkedIn. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Visita científica do professor Greg Woolf ao Brasil". História e-História. 1 June 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  5. ^ Woolf, G. D. (1991). "Cultural change in central France under Roman rule". E-Theses Online Service. The British Library. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "Authority on Roman Empire to head Institute of Classical Studies". School of Advanced Study. University of London. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Greg Woolf to head up Institute of Classical Studies". School of Classics. University of St Andrews. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Hadrian's Wall". In Our Time. BBC Radio 4. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  9. ^ "The Cult of Mithras". In Our Time. BBC Radio 4. 27 December 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Fellows Directory – Woolf". Society of Antiquaries of London. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Greg Woolf". Academy of Europe. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Elections to the British Academy celebrate the diversity of UK research". British Academy. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
Academic offices
Preceded by
John North
Director of the Institute of Classical Studies
2015 to present