Dr William Mack

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

Contact details

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

The main focus of my teaching and research is the ancient Greek city-states, particularly their interstate relations and institutions.


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


Before coming to Birmingham, I 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 teach Ancient Greek history at Birmingham at all levels. I regularly run modules on the history of the Archaic and Classical periods, interstate relations, and Greek Citizenship.

Postgraduate supervision

I would be delighted to discuss research projects on any of my major research interests: ancient political institutions, interstate relations, the Greek city-states, and epigraphic culture.

Find out more - our PhD Classics and Ancient History  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My current research project is a study of the ways in which concepts of citizenship were 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 explore 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.

My first book, which was published in 2015, is a study of  the Greek interstate institution of 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. In 2016, I published an online database to accompany this work (http://proxenies.csad.ox.ac.uk), which enables users to explore the rich record of proxenia-relations between Greek states preserved in the documentary record.



  • Proxeny and Polis: Institutional Networks in the Ancient Greek World. (Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents). Oxford University Press (2015). 

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  •  ‘The Proxeny-lists of Karthaia’, Revue des Études Anciens 113.2 (2011) 319-44.
  • ‘The Eresian Catalogue of Proxenoi (IG XII suppl. 127)’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 180 (2012): 217-29.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘Communal Interests and Polis Identity under Negotiation: Documents Depicting Sympolities between Cities Great and Small’, Topoi 18 (2013 [published September 2014]), 87-116.
  • ‘Shepherds Beating the Bounds: Territorial Identity at a Dependent Community (IPriene 361-3)’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 135 (2015), 51-77.
  • ‘Astypalaia and Hierapytna(?): Restoring Lost Polis-Ethnics in the Proxeny Catalogue of Astypalaia (I.Dor.Ins. 97), Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 197 (2016), 103-110. [co-authored with Richard Hitchman]

Research database

View all publications in research portal