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Dr Maria Fragoulaki

Dr Maria Fragoulaki

Senior Lecturer in Ancient Greek History, FHEA

+44 (0)29 2087 0558
5.01, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am an historian of ancient Greece, specialising in Thucydides, Herodotus, and Greek historiography. I have a special interest in the relationship between history and literature. I studied classical philology (BA) at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (EKPA). After an interval of ten years during which I studied acting and worked in the acting profession in Greece, I studied for an MA Classics in Education at King’s College London and a PhD in Classics at University College London (2010). My monograph Kinship in Thucydides: Intercommunal Ties and Historical Narrative, 2013, Oxford University Press, based on my PhD, examines the role of colonial ties and other forms of connections in Thucydides and ancient Greek history more broadly.

I work and publish on Thucydides, Herodotus and their relationship with other texts, especially Homer, collective memory in ancient Greece, Athenian cleruchies, tragedy, and Thucydides’ theatrical performance, as a form of its modern reception. I am collaborating with theatrical and educational organisations in Greece as academic advisor in theatrical productions of Thucydides and other historical texts.


  • PhD Classics, University College London
  • MA Classics in Education, King's College London
  • BA Classics (Classical Philology), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (EKPA)

Honours and awards

  • 2019: Visiting Researcher, Harvard University, Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, DC (External funding received)
  • 2019: Exernal funding for the organisation of 'Thucydides Global: Teaching, Researching, and Performing Thucydides'; International workshop (April 2019), co-organised by Cardiff SHARE, Ruhr Universität Bochum, ICS London, and supported by the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies (SPHS) and the Classical Association, UK
  • 2018-19: Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, London, UK
  • 14-21 May 2017: Erasmus + International Exchange teaching scheme, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, GAUGN
  • 2016: Internal funding for the organisation of the 2016 Distinguished University Lecture, Cardiff University, Prof. Irad Malkin, 'The Small Greek World' (Cardiff, SHARE)
  • 2013- Honorary Research Fellow, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
  • July 2007: A.G. Leventis Foundation scholarship, for the academic year 2007-8
  • January 2007: The 2006 George Grote Prize for Ancient History (University of London)
  • September 2005: Hollier Scholarship in Greek, Greek & Latin Dept., University College London
  • 2004-7: Funding of my PhD research by the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (Ίδρυμα Κρατικὠν Υποτροφιών, I.K.Y.), following national competition (full fees and subsistence)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Advisory Council of the Institue of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • Member of the Council of University Classical Departments, UK (CUCD)
  • Branch Secretary of the Cardiff & District (Wales) Classical Association, UK
  • Member of the Societies for the Promotion of Hellenic and Roman Studies, UK
  • Member of the Classical Association, UK
  • Member of the Society for Classical Studies (former American Philological Association)

Academic positions

  • 2018-2019: Visiting Fellow, Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • 2013-2014: Associate Lecturer and Honorary Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London
  • 2011-2012: University of London, Lecturer (Intercollegiate MA Course 'Sources and Methods in Ancient History')
  • 2010-2011: Teaching Fellow, University College London, and Associate Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London
  • 2009-2010, 2005-2008: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, University College London
  • 2007-2010: Associate Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London
  • 2004-2006: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, King's College London

Speaking engagements

Invited talks

  • May 25, 2022, Herodotus Helpline, 'The human body in Herodotus' battle-scenes', YouTube.
  • December 17, 2021, SISU, 'Ancient Greek Myth and Athletics', online.
  • November 17, 2020, Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), 'Born from the Earth? Myths of autochthony in ancient Greece', online.
  • December 28, 2019, Athens, National Theatre of Greece, 'The battle of Arginusae' (academic talk during the rehearsals of Lessons of War III)
  • July 7, 2019, London FIEC/CA Conference, 'Gold, cold, and blood: Thrace and the Thracians in Greek Historiography and Athenian Drama'
  • April 30, 2019, Lead organiser and speaker at 'Thucydides Global: Teaching, Researching, and Performing Thucydides'; International Workshop on Thucydides' reception (collaboration of Cardiff SHARE, Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany, and the Institute of Classical Studies, SAS, London)
  • March 4, 2019, Newcastle, International Workshop on Homer and Herodotus, 'The dying and suffering body in war: the landscape of death in Herodotus and Homer'
  • February 13, 2019, Cardiff, Historical Association, 'Leadership, populism, and participation: ancient and modern democracies' (public talk)
  • November 28, 2018,  'Athenian cleruchies revisited: Hegemonic power and settlement patterns in Thucydides
  • April 28, 2017, International Colloquium on ‘Ritual and Politics, Individual and Community in Plutarch'; ‘Comparing Portraits: Nicias’ wealth in Plutarch and Thucydides. Anxiety of Influence and Narrative Choice’, University of Crete, Greece
  • February 13, 2017, Cardiff, Classical Association Lecture, 'Thucydides Homericus: Myth and History, Space and Collective Memory'
  • December 6, 2016, University of Crete, Greece, 'Thucydides Homericus: Myth and History, Space and Collective Memory' (in Greek)
  • November 18, 2015, Exeter, Research Seminar, 'Flexibility, fluidity and authorial agency: Ethnicity in Thucydides'
  • November 2, 2015, Cambridge, Research Seminar, 'The mytho-political map of Spartan colonial activity in Thucydides'
  • April 2015, Cardiff, Work in Progress History Research seminar, 'Kinship and Interstate Relations in Ancient Greece'
  • April 2014, Classical Association Conference, Nottingham, 'Death in Thucydides and Homer'
  • June 2013, International Colloquium on Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity, Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric, Royal Holloway, London, 'Emotion, persuasion and kinship in Thucydides: The Plataian debate (3.52-68) and the Melian Dialogue (5.85-113)'
  • May 2012, London: Ancient History Seminar, Institute of Classical Studies, 'Why Mykalessos? Religion and Intertextuality in Thucydides'
  • February 2010, Research Seminar, UCL Greek and Latin Department, London. 'Kinship and narrative in Thucydides: text and context'
  • January 2008, Work in Progress Seminar, University of London (ICS), London, 'Kinship in Thucydides: Sparta’s kinship ties with the Greeks of the West'
  • April 2007, Classical Association Conference, Birmingham, 'Thucydides in the light of Herodotus: the kinship ties between Athenians and Thracians'
  • November 2006, Ancient Literature Seminar, Institute of Classical Studies, London, 'Autochthony and Ionianism in Thucydides 2.15'
  • April 2006, Classical Association A Conference, Newcastle, 'Kinship in Thucydides: the case of the Kerkyraika narrative (1.24-55)'
  • March 2006, AMPAH (Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History), Exeter, 'Kinship in Thucydides: the case of the Kerkyraika narrative (1.24-55)'

Committees and reviewing

  • Postgraduate Tutor, Ancient History and Religion Department, 2022-
  • Member of the Open Research Integrity and Ethics Committee (ORIEC) for the University, 2021-
  • Examinations Officer for Ancient History, 2017-
  • Research Ethics Officer and Research Integrity Lead, SHARE (School), 2015-18
  • Ancient History Library Representative, 2014-18


  • Historia
  • Greece and Rome
  • Wiley Blackwell
  • Philologus
  • Oxford University Press
  • Journal of Hellenic Studies




  • Fragoulaki, M. 2021. Thucydides. In: Baron, C. ed. The Herodotus Encyclopedia., Vol. 3. Wiley Blackwell, pp. 1462-1466.
  • Fragoulaki, M. 2021. The Peloponnesian War. In: Baron, C. ed. The Herodotus Encyclopedia., Vol. 3. Wiley Blackwell, pp. 1075-1077.
  • Fragoulaki, M. 2021. Autochthony. In: Baron, C. ed. The Herodotus Encyclopedia., Vol. 1. Wiley Blackwell, pp. 205-207.
  • Fragoulaki, M. 2021. Stasis. In: Baron, C. ed. The Herodotus Encyclopedia., Vol. 3. Wiley Blackwell, pp. 1371-1373.
  • Fragoulaki, M. 2021. Death. In: Baron, C. ed. The Herodotus Encyclopedia., Vol. 1. Wiley Blackwell, pp. 414-419.
  • Fragoulaki, M. 2021. Ethnicity in Thucydides. In: Low, P. ed. The Cambridge Companion to Thucydides. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press







  • Fragoulaki, M. 2014. Death in Thucydides and Homer. Presented at: Classical Association Annual Conference 2014, Nottingham, UK, 13-16 April 2014.








  • HS3103 Investigating the Ancient World: Skills and Evidence
  • HS3104 The Ancient World in 20 Objects
  • HS3105 Introduction to Ancient History 1a: 1000-323 BCE
  • HS3345/6 Greek Historical Texts
  • HS3349 Two Greek Historians: Herodotus and Thucydides
  • HS3375 Myth and History in Ancient Greece
  • HS3374 Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: The Rise of Classical Greece
  • HS3381 Drama in Context: Ancient Greek Theatre, Politics and Society
  • HS4334 Independent Second Year Study
  • HS4335 Researching the Ancient World: Final Year Dissertation
  • HS4336 Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient History


  • HST002 Themes and Approaches in Ancient History
  • MA Religious Studies: Myth, Narrative and Theory

Undergraduate and postgraduate supervision

I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate work on Thucydides, Herodotus, Greek drama, myth, and the political and social history of ancient Greece.

Teaching profile

I have designed and taught BA and MA courses in ancient Greek history (archaic and classical periods, in full- and small-size groups, organised in lectures and seminars); ancient Greek literature (Thucydides, Herodotus, Homer, Plato, Greek drama; introduction to ancient Greek literature and history); I have taught ancient Greek and Latin language at all levels.

My research interests include: Thucydides; Herodotus; Homer; the interaction between history and literature; the political and social history of archaic and classical Greece; collective memory; colonization and ethnicity; ancient Greek mythology and religion; comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to classics; theatrical performance of Thucydides and other historians.

My monograph Kinship in Thucydides, OUP 2013 ( studies the concept of kinship between communities (syngeneia) in Thucydides and ancient Greek politics. It applies modern anthropological work on kinship relations beyond biology and descent (relatedness) to describe and explain the maleable and dynamic nature of intecommunal kinship in ancient Greek politics. As in all periods and societies, kinship is a powerful (albeit at times invisible to cultural outsiders) mechanism, which fuels rhetoric and collective emotions, and mobilises diplomacy and action in war and peace.

Reviews of Kinship in Thucydides, 2013, OUP

P. Liddel, Omnibus 68, September 2014, 69; S. Forsdyke, Histos 8, 23 November 2014 (; C. Scardino, BMCR 16 December 2014; P. Low, Mnemosyne, 2015 68/3, 511-14  (DOI: 10.1163/1568525X-12341909); R. J. Littman, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 21, 2015, 211-243; M. Tamiolaki, Classical Review, January 2015, 65/1, 42-4 (DOI: 10.1017/S0009840X14002686); M. S. Trifirò, Anabases 21, April 2015, 274-5 (URL:; M. Taylor, sehepunkte Rezensionsjournal fur die Geschichtswissenschaften 15 (2015) No. 4 (URL:; S. Roy, Classical Journal Online 5.09.2015; D. Konstan, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 135, 2015, 192-3 (DOI: 10.1017/S0075426915000233); K. Vlassopoulos, Greece & Rome 63.1, April 2016, 134 (DOI: 10.1017/S0017383515000303, Published online: 29 March 2016); P. Debnar, Gnomon 89, 2017, 67-9.


  • Thucydides Global: Teaching, Researching, and Performing Thucydides; International Workshop on Thucydides’ modern reception. A collaboration of Cardiff SHARE, Ruhr Unversität Bochum, Germany & Institute of Classical Studies, London, 30 April 2019; you can read more in the ICS Blog
  • A BICS (Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies) volume based on the workshop; in preparation
  • Monograph in preparation on the relationship between Thucydides and Homer; relevant publication here
  • Thucydides' ancient and modern performance

Research links


I welcome supervision of suitable PhD candidates wishing to work on ancient Greek history and literature of the archaic and classical periods, especially Thucydides and its socio-political context; kinship theory and politics; Thucydides and Homer; myth; collective memory.

Past projects