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Dr Maria Fragoulaki

Dr Maria Fragoulaki

Lecturer in Ancient Greek History, FHEA

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

+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 (archaic and classical periods), specialising in Thucydides, Herodotus, and Greek historiography. I have studied classical philology (BA National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) and have a special interest in Greek literature and questions of literary criticism and style. One of my current research projects is the intertextual relationship between Thucydides and Homer (‘text’ broadly conceived to encompass the ‘worlds’ of Thucydides and Homer and socio-political questions).

I am the author of Kinship in Thucydides: Intercommunal Ties and Historical Narrative, 2013, Oxford University Press

I am also working on Thucydides’ theatrical performance, a relatively under-explored area of the text’s modern reception, and am collaborating with theatrical and educational organisations in Greece as academic advisor in theatrical productions of Thucydides and other historians.


I was born and grew up in Athens (Greece), where I studied Classics (Classical Philology) at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (BA), and then drama (acting), and worked as an actress and translator, copy-editor and advisor in publications on classics and performing arts. I returned to the academia in 2002, when I moved to the UK (London) to study for an MA (Classics in Education, KCL) and a PhD (Classics, UCL). Since 2005 I have taught ancient Greek history, literature and language at University College London, King’s College London and Birkbeck London. In 2014 I joined the Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

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)
  • 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

  • Member of the Advisory Council of the Institue of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London (Jan.2020-Dec 2024)
  • Member of the Council of University Classical Departments, UK (CUCD) (elected, Nov. 2019)
  • Secretary of the Cardiff & District Branch (Wales) of the Classical Association, UK (Sept. 2019)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (since 2017)
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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. 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
  • 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
  • HST221 MA Special Topic: Two Greek Historians: Herodotus and Thucydides
  • 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.

Research supervision

I would be happy to supervise PhD candidates wishing to work on the areas of my expertise. I collaborate with the Department of Philology, University of Crete in PhD supervision (Member of the Advisory Board).

 Teaching profile

October 2004 to date, 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.

Current projects

  • In April 2019 I organised an International Workshop on Thucydides’ modern reception ‘Thucydides Global: Teaching, Researching, and Performing Thucydides’ (Collaboration of Cardiff SHARE, Rurh Unversität Bochum, Germany & Institute of Classical Studies, London, 30 April 2019; you can read more in the ICS Blog and Annual Newsletter (p. 3). A volume based on the workshop is currently in preparation.
  • I am working on a monograph on the relationship between Thucydides and Homer. My first output on the topic is 'Thucydides Homericus and the episode of Mycalessus (Th. 7.29-30): Myth and History, Space and Collective Memory' in C. Constantakopoulou and M. Fragoulaki (eds.) Shaping Memory in Ancient Greece: Poetry, Historiography, and Epigraphy, Histos Supplement 11 (2020).
  • Chapters and articles in preparation/press involve the Athenian cleruchies, Thucydides and Plutarch, Thucydides and tragedy, Thucydides’ ancient and modern theatrical performance.