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Professor James Davidson


Exams, Department Education Committee, Department Academic Conduct Panel, Academic Integrity Lead, CUCD, Library, Discipline Appeals Committee, University Course Scrutiny Panel
Tel: 22134

Email: James dot Davidson at warwick dot ac dot uk

H2.31, 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. The Greeks and Greek Love (2007) won three international prizes for history.

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 (PhD)

Administrative roles

  • Examinations Secretary, University Disciplinary Committee, University Appeals Committee.

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

Wednesday 13.00 and by appointment.


Undergraduate modules

Sex and Gender in Antiquity
Food and Drink in the Ancient Mediterranean

Hellenistic World

Postgraduate modules