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Professor Simon Swain

profile.jpgPro Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Social Sciences)
Professor of Classics and Greco-Arabic

Tel: 28493

Email: S dot C dot R dot Swain at warwick dot ac dot uk

Room no.: 206, Humanities Building, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL


Simon Swain was Head of Department from 00/01 to 06/07 and deputy Chair of the Arts Faculty 05-07. He took his first degree at Pembroke College, Oxford in 1980-84. His doctorate on ‘Plutarch and Rome’ was awarded 1987 at Wolfson College, Oxford. After various part-time teaching posts he was elected to a postdoctoral fellowship at All Souls College and came to Warwick in 1995. He has chaired numerous panels at AHRC and is currently panel member and vice-chair of the Expert Review Group (Medical Humanities) at the Wellcome Trust. He has held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship and currently holds a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award.

Research interests

Simon works on the reception and development of Greek thought in the Islamic Middle Ages, and the social and cultural history of the Greek East in the Roman period and after. He has had extensive external funding from AHRC, Leverhulme, Wellcome, and the EU for projects on the reception and development in late antiquity and the Islamic period of ancient Greek science and pseudo-science (medicine, physiognomy), economic, and political thought. For further details see Research tab.

Teaching and supervision

Simon currently holds a senior administrative position in the University and is available only for postgraduate supervision. He is very happy to consider supervising at MA and PhD level in the areas of the Greek world in the Roman period, late antiquity, and Greco-Arabic.

Administrative roles

  • Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, with special responsibility for research development and all aspects of departmental governance and management
  • Chair of the Faculty of Arts till end August 2014.

Selected publications

  • Economy, family, and society from Rome to Islam : a critical edition, English translation, and study of Bryson's "Management of the Estate" (CUP 2013a) xiii + 573
  • Themistius, Julian, and Greek Political Theory under Rome. Texts, Translations, and Studies of Four Key Works (CUP 2013b) vi + 224
  • Seeing the Face, Seeing the Soul. Polemon’s “Physiognomy” from Classical Antiquity to Medieval Islam (ed.) (OUP 2007a) x + 700
  • Severan Culture (ed. with J. Elsner and S. J. Harrison) (CUP 2007b) xviii + 570
  • Approaching Late Antiquity. The Transformation from Early to Late Empire (ed. with M. J. Edwards) (OUP 2004) xiii + 489
  • Bilingualism in Ancient Society. Language Contact and the Written Word (ed. with J. N. Adams and M. Janse) (OUP 2002) x + 484
  • Dio Chrysostom, Politics, Letters, and Philosophy (ed.) (OUP 2000) x + 308
  • Oxford Readings in the Greek Novel (ed.) (OUP 1999) xii + 412
  • Portraits. Biographical Representation in the Greek and Latin Literature of the Roman Empire (ed. with M. J. Edwards) (OUP 1997) xi + 267
  • Hellenism and Empire. Language, Classicism and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250 (OUP 1996) xii + 512

Professional associations

  • Hellenic Society


  • MA, D.Phil. (Oxon)

Office hours

by appointment