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Professor David Whitehead

MA, PhD (Cambridge), DLit (QUB), MRIA, FRHistS

Professor Emeritus of Ancient History



David Whitehead, born in Nottinghamshire in 1949, won scholarships to Nottingham High School and from there to Clare College Cambridge. Upon graduating with first-class honours in Parts I and II of the Classical Tripos he undertook a PhD in Ancient History under the supervision of Moses Finley. He has held, at various times, Research Fellowships at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and in the USA (School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; [Harvard] Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC) and Visiting Fellowships at New College and All Souls Oxford; he has also been a British Academy Research Reader and was the inaugural Co-Director of M.H.Hansen’s Copenhagen Polis Centre. After teaching for three years in Cambridge and seventeen at the Victoria University of Manchester (Department of History) he was appointed to the then Chair of Classics at Queen’s in 1992. He is a founding editor of Oxford University Press’s Clarendon Ancient History Series, and Senior Managing Editor of the electronic Suda-On-Line He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1999, and awarded the degree of DLit at Queen's in 2005. He retired from the university in 2014.

Research Interests

Professor Whitehead’s teaching and research expertise lies in Greek history and Greek prose literature, especially (but not exclusively) those of classical Athens. Areas of special interest likewise span the divide, such as it is, between Ancient History and Classics: political and social history, epigraphy and prosopography, historiography, law and lawcourt oratory, lexicography, military writers.

Select Publications


  • Apollodorus Mechanicus, Siege-matters: translated with introduction and commentary (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2010).
  • (With P.H.Blyth), Athenaeus Mechanicus, On Machines: translated with introduction and commentary (Stuttgart 2004).
  • Hypereides, The Forensic Speeches: introduction, translation, and commentary (Oxford: OUP, 2000).
  • Aineias the Tactician, How to Survive under Siege: translated with introduction and commentary (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990; 2nd ed. Bristol, 2001).
  • The Demes of Attica, 508/7–ca.250 BC: a political and social study (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1986).
  • (With Michael Crawford), Archaic and Classical Greece: a selection of ancient sources in translation (Cambridge: CUP, 1983 and reprints).
  • The Ideology of the Athenian Metic (Cambridge: Cambridge Philological Society, 1977).