Dr William Mack

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Lecturer in Ancient Greek History and Culture

Contact details

Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

As an ancient historian, I enjoy studying the political and social history of ancient communities, especially the Greek city-states. So far I have concentrated on interstate relations in the Classical and Hellenistic world, with a particular focus on the history of interstate institutions, but for my next major research project I look forward to exploring what citizenship meant at different cities in the ancient Mediterranean.


  • BA Literae Humaniores (Oxford)
  • MPhil Ancient Greek and/or Roman History (Oxford)
  • DPhil Ancient Greek History (Oxford)


I was born and raised in Leamington Spa (and educated at Kenilworth School) and spent ten years as a student and teacher at Oxford University, first as a student at Corpus Christi College and then as a Fellow in Ancient History by Special Election at Wadham College. I am delighted now to return to the Midlands to take up this post as Lecturer in Greek History and Culture.


I have taught a wide range of subjects in Greek and Roman History. At Birmingham, I am currently teaching courses on Greek Citizenship, Fifth Century Athens, and Empires in the Ancient World.

Postgraduate supervision

I would be delighted to discuss research projects on ancient institutions, interstate relations, or the Greek city-states.


Since completing my doctorate in Ancient History at the University of Oxford, I have revised the manuscript of my thesis and it is due to appear in the Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents series in early 2015. It is both a study of the Greek interstate institution proxenia (a form of public guest-friendship) and a wider-ranging examination of the structural dynamics of the Greek world in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. This book will be accompanied by an online database presenting all the surviving evidence for this institution, which I am currently building thanks to the generous support of the Fell Fund. It will allow users to explore this evidence of interstate networks in the ancient world, including more than three thousand inscriptions, and trace these connections on maps of the ancient world. I have already published a number of articles on proxenia in different journals, and two other pieces will appear shortly which examine particular inscriptions to explore how minor communities in Mainland Greece and Turkey, on the political margins of the ancient world, dealt with the issues of economic interests, political status, and communal identity raised by their precarious positions.

My next major research project will examine how citizenship was used and defined by communities and individuals in the Classical and Hellenistic world. Citizenship was expressed in a number of different ways in the ancient world, including participation in political and religious institutions, the possession of particular citizen rights, and personal identity. By examining how these different aspects related, and why certain elements were privileged in particular contexts, this study will illuminate the various ways in which concepts of citizenship were used to draw lines between groups of people in the densely networked cities of the Mediterranean.




Journal Articles

  • ‘Shepherds Beating the Bounds: Territorial Identity at a Dependent Community (IPriene 361-3)’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 135 (forthcoming 2015).
  • ‘Communal Interests and Polis Identity under Negotiation: Documents Depicting Sympolities between Cities Great and Small’, Topoi 18 (forthcoming 2014).
  •  ‘Consulting the Oracle at Dodona about a Female Proxenos? Lhôte no. 15 Reconsidered (SEG 56 663)’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 188 (2014): 155-8.
  • ‘The Eresian Catalogue of Proxenoi (IG XII suppl. 127)’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 180 (2012): 217-29.
  • ‘The Proxeny-lists of Karthaia’, Revue des Études Anciens 113.2(2011): 319-44.

Encyclopedia Articles and Reviews

  • Articles for the Blackwell-Wiley Encyclopaedia of Ancient History on Alcaeus of Mytilene, Amphidamas of Chalcis, and Archias of Corinth.
  • Reviews on D. Summa, ed. (2012) Inscriptiones Graecae IX 12 5 and P. Gauthier (2011) Études d'histoire et d'institutions grecques for Journal of Hellenic Studies 132 (2013) and 133 (forthcoming 2014); on P. Martzavou and N. Papazarkadas (2013) Epigraphical Approaches to the Post-Classical Polis for Classical Review (2014); and on P. Siewert et al. (2013) Neue Inschriften von Olympia for Klio (forthcoming).