Dr Carol Atack

Junior Research Fellow in Classics, Tutor for Equality

Subject: Classics

Department: Academic - Fellows & Lecturers


I am a JRF at St Hugh’s and a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics. My research interests lie in ancient political thought and philosophy, especially the political thought of fourth-century BCE Athens, and in ancient historiography more broadly.

In my research for the Anachronism and Antiquity project I am currently exploring anachronism in the construction of an idealised political past, and in the constructions of intellectual genealogies by ancient doxographers and intellectual historians throughout the classical period. I am also exploring Plato’s use of temporality in his dialogues.

I am also interested in the reception and use of Greek political thought by 20th-century radical political theorists, and in gender in ancient politics. I am the treasurer of the Women’s Classical Committee UK, and an associate editor of the journal Polis.


I hold undergraduate degrees in Government (from the London School of Economics) and Classics (from the University of Cambridge), and completed my graduate studies in Classics at Cambridge. My PhD thesis ‘Debating kingship: models of monarchy in 5th- and 4th-century BCE Greek political thought’ examined the role of kings in the Greek political imaginary. Before returning to Oxford as a researcher I held teaching positions in Classics at St Hugh’s College and at the University of Warwick.


  • Atack, C. (2017), ‘The History Of Athenian Democracy, Now’, History of Political Thought, 38 (3), 576-88.
  • Precarity and Protest: the Politics of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata’, (2017) CUCD Bulletin, Vol 46
  • ‘Tradition and Innovation in the Polis-Cosmos Analogy’ (forthcoming, 2018) in P. Horky (ed.) Ancient Cosmos: Concord among Worlds, Cambridge University Press.
  • ‘Imagined Superpowers: Isocrates on Athens and Sparta’ (forthcoming, 2017), in A. Powell and P. Cartledge (edd.) The Greek Superpower: Sparta in the Self-Definitions of Athenians, Classical Press of Wales.
  • ‘“Cyrus appeared both great and good”: Xenophon and the performativity of kingship’, in D. Allen, P. Christesen and P. Millett (edd.), How To Do Things With History, Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
  • ‘Plato’s Statesman and Xenophon’s Cyrus’, in G. Danzig, D. Johnson and D. Morison (edd.), Plato and Xenophon, Brill (forthcoming)
  • ‘Aristotle’s pambasileia and the metaphysics of monarchy’, Polis, Vol. 32 (2015), Issue 2, pp. 297-320
  • ‘The Greeks in Sicily’, in R. van Beek, D. Burgersdijk et al. (edd.) Sicily and the Sea, Allard Pierson Museum, pp. 39-45 (2015)
  • Atack, CW and Scott, DJ  ‘Endnotes to Michael Frede’s seminar papers’ in M. Frede and M. Burnyeat (2015), The Pseudo-Platonic Seventh Letter, ed. D.J. Scott, Oxford University Press, pp. 99-112
  • ‘Notes on Xenophon Cyropaedia 7.5.37-86’, for Cyrus’ Paradise, (2015)
  • ‘The discourse of kingship in classical Athenian thought’, Histos 8 (2014), 329-362.
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