Paul Cartledge

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Paul Cartledge
Born (1947-03-24) 24 March 1947 (age 72)
Nationality British
Fields Ancient history
Institutions Clare College, Cambridge
Alma mater New College, Oxford
Doctoral advisor Sir John Boardman
Known for Ancient Sparta

Paul Anthony Cartledge (born 24 March 1947)[1] is a British ancient historian and academic. From 2008 to 2014 he was the A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge.[2][3] He had previously held a personal chair in Greek History at Cambridge.

Early life

Cartledge was educated at St Paul's School[4] and New College, Oxford, where, with his contemporaries Robin Lane Fox and Terence Irwin, he was a student of G. E. M. de Ste. Croix. He graduated Bachelor of Arts (BA), later promoted to Master of Arts (MA Oxon), in 1969. He remained at the University of Oxford to undertake postgraduate studies. He completed a doctor of Philosophy (PhD) under the supervision of Professor Sir John Boardman. His thesis focused on Spartan archaeology.

Academic career

Cartledge lectured at the New University of Ulster in 1972–73, at Trinity College, Dublin, from 1973 to 1978, and at the University of Warwick in 1978–79.[1] In October 1979 he moved to Cambridge University[5] where he is a fellow of Clare College.[6]

In 2008 Cartledge was elected to the newly established A. G. Leventis Professorship of Greek Culture at Cambridge University,[2] a position from which he retired at the end of September 2014.[7]

Cartledge holds a visiting Global Distinguished Professorship at New York University, funded by the Greek Parliament,[2] and sits on the European Advisory Board of Princeton University Press.[8]

Cartledge is also a holder of the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour and an Honorary Citizen of (modern) Sparta.[citation needed]

Field of study

Cartledge's field of study is Athens and Sparta in the Classical Age; he has been described[citation needed] as a Laconophile.

He was chief historical consultant for the BBC TV series The Greeks and the Channel 4 series The Spartans, presented by Bettany Hughes.[citation needed]


Cartledge is married to Judith Portrait, the solicitor who acts as trustee of part of the Sainsbury family shareholding in Sainsbury's in blind trust.[9]

In August 2014, Cartledge was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[10]


  • Aristophanes and His Theatre of the Absurd (1989), Duckworth. ISBN 1-85399-114-7.
  • Nomos : Essays in Athenian Law, Politics and Society (1991), Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37022-1 .
  • Spartan Reflections, a collection of essays new and revised (Duckworth, 2001), ISBN 0-7156-2966-2.
  • Sparta and Lakonia (2nd edn. 2002).
  • Hellenistic and Roman Sparta (rev. edns 2002), (with A. Spawforth).
  • The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others (2nd edn, 2002), the product of research into Greek self-definition.
  • Kosmos: essays in Order, Conflict and Community in Classical Athens (coauthor Paul Millett; (2002), Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52593-4
  • The Spartans: An Epic History (2nd edn, 2003).
  • Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past (2004).
  • Helots and Their Masters in Laconia and Messenia: Histories, Ideologies, Structures (2004), Center for Hellenic Studies. ISBN 0-674-01223-2.
  • Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World (2006), The Overlook Press. ISBN 1-58567-566-0
  • Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice (2009), Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-45455-1
  • Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities, (2009), Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-191-57157-2


External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
None: new position
A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University
2008 – 2014
Succeeded by
Tim Whitmarsh