Paul Cartledge

Paul Anthony Cartledge (born 24 March 1947)[1] is a British ancient historian and academic. From 2008 to 2014 he was the A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge.[2][3] He had previously held a personal chair in Greek History at Cambridge.

Paul Cartledge
Paul Cartledge in 2014 (2 av 5).jpg
Cartledge in Stockholm 2014 due to his books Alexander the Great and The Spartans: An Epic History
Paul Anthony Cartledge

(1947-03-24) 24 March 1947 (age 75)
Academic background
Alma materNew College, Oxford
Doctoral advisorJohn Boardman
Academic work
DisciplineAncient history

Early lifeEdit

Cartledge was educated at St Paul's School[4] and New College, Oxford, where, with his contemporaries Robin Lane Fox and Terence Irwin, he was a student of G. E. M. de Ste. Croix. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, later promoted to MA (Oxon) by seniority, in 1969. He remained at the University of Oxford to undertake postgraduate studies, completing a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) under the supervision of Professor Sir John Boardman. His thesis focused on Spartan archaeology.

Academic careerEdit

Cartledge lectured at the New University of Ulster in 1972–73, at Trinity College, Dublin, from 1973 to 1978, and at the University of Warwick in 1978–79.[1] In October 1979 he moved to Cambridge University[5] where he is a fellow of Clare College.[6]

In 2008, Cartledge was elected to the newly established A. G. Leventis Professorship of Greek Culture at Cambridge University,[2] a position from which he retired at the end of September 2014.[7]

Cartledge holds a visiting Global Distinguished Professorship at New York University, funded by the Greek Parliament,[2] and sits on the European Advisory Board of Princeton University Press.[8]

Cartledge is also a holder of the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour of Greece and an Honorary Citizen of (modern) Sparta.[9]

Field of studyEdit

Cartledge's field of study is Athens and Sparta in the Classical Age; he has been described[citation needed] as a Laconophile.

He was chief historical consultant for the BBC TV series The Greeks and the Channel 4 series The Spartans, presented by Bettany Hughes.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Cartledge is married to Judith Portrait, a solicitor who acts as trustee of part of the Sainsbury family shareholding in Sainsbury's in blind trust.[10]

In August 2014, Cartledge was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[11]


  • Aristophanes and His Theatre of the Absurd (1989), Duckworth. ISBN 1-85399-114-7
  • Nomos : Essays in Athenian Law, Politics and Society (1991), Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37022-1
  • Spartan Reflections, a collection of essays new and revised (Duckworth, 2001), ISBN 0-7156-2966-2
  • Sparta and Lakonia (2nd edn. 2002).
  • Hellenistic and Roman Sparta (rev. edns 2002), (with A. Spawforth).
  • The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others (2nd edn, 2002), the product of research into Greek self-definition.
  • Kosmos: essays in Order, Conflict and Community in Classical Athens (coauthor Paul Millett; (2002), Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52593-4
  • The Spartans: An Epic History (2nd edn, 2003).
  • Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past (2004).
  • Helots and Their Masters in Laconia and Messenia: Histories, Ideologies, Structures (2004), Center for Hellenic Studies. ISBN 0-674-01223-2
  • Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World (2006), The Overlook Press. ISBN 1-58567-566-0
  • Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice (2009), Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-45455-1
  • Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities, (2009), Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-191-57157-2
  • Democracy: A Life (2016), Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-199-83745-8
  • Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece (2020), Picador. ISBN 978-1509873166


  1. ^ a b "CARTLEDGE, Prof. Paul Anthony", Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010; online edition
  2. ^ a b c "University of Cambridge News 7 October 2008". Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
  3. ^ Cambridge University Reporter 11 June 2008
  4. ^ St Paul's School: Classics Department
  5. ^ Sophocles and the Greek Tragic Tradition, Cambridge University Press 2009 ISBN 978-0-521-88785-4 foreword by Paul Cartledge
  6. ^ Cambridge University Classics Faculty website
  7. ^ A. G. Leventis Professorship of Greek Culture Cambridge Classics Faculty News January 2014
  8. ^ Princeton University Press Accessed 17 April 2014 Archived 8 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Scott, (Doctor), Michael. "Honorary Graduands and Medallists - Summer 2017". U. of Warwick. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  10. ^ The Observer 5 September 2004 accessed 9 October 2014
  11. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.

External linksEdit

Academic offices
Preceded by
None: new position
A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University
2008 – 2014
Succeeded by