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Ian Rutherford


Professor of Greek

Areas of interest

My main interests are:

  • Early Greek poetry: I am interested in questions of performance, genre and chronology, and the transmission of Greek poetry via papyri. In 2001 I published Pindar's Paeans. A Reading of the Fragments with a Survey of the Genre (OUP). I co-edited Wandering Poets in Ancient Greece (2009); I edited Oxford Readings in Greek Lyric (2019) and was co-editor of The Reception of Greek Lyric Poetry in the Ancient World: Transmission, Canonization and Paratext (2020) (which arose from a conference at Reading). I am a core member of the Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song.

  • Ancient Religion: I'm particularly interested in sacred travel and pilgrimage. I was co-editor of Pilgrimage in Greco-Roman and Christian Antiquity. Seeing the Gods (2005) (which also arose from a conference at Reading); and author of State-Pilgrims and Sacred Observers in Ancient Greece (2013). I'm also interested in the ritual of animal sacrifice and co-edited Animal Sacrifice in the Greek World (2017) (another volume which arose from a conference at Reading).

  • Ancient Anatolia and Greek World: I'm interested in early relations between Greece & Anatolia (ancient Turkey). I've been a co-editor of two volumes on this subject: Anatolian Interfaces (2007) and Luwian Identities (2013), the latter (which also arose from a conference at Reading), concerned with the so-called Luwian culture of Anatolia. In 2020 I published the monograph Hittite Texts and Greek Religion

  • Contacts between Ancient Egypt and Greece: I'm interested in religious, cultural and literary contact, an area where there has been a lot of progress recently. A volume of essays related to this (and arising from a conference at Reading) appeared in 2016: Greco-Egyptian Interactions (2016). I am currently working on graffiti left by visitors in Egyptian temples, using these as evidence for religious interaction and cultural flows within Egypt and beyond it.


My university education was at Oxford, and I have held research positions at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC, at the University of Cincinnati, at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York, and at the Centre for Anatolian Civilisations in Istanbul.  


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