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.


Recent publications


Mack, W 2015, Proxeny and Polis: Institutional Networks in the Ancient Greek World. Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents, Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713869.001.0001


Mack, W 2022, ''Where are the proxenoi?': social network analysis, connectivity, and the Greek poleis', Past & Present. https://doi.org/10.1093/pastj/gtab036

Mack, W 2020, 'Cinadon’s Conspiracy and Sparta’s Police State', Omnibus, pp. 10.

Mack, W 2018, 'Vox Populi, Vox Deorum? Athenian document reliefs and the theologies of public inscription', Annual of the British School at Athens, vol. 113, pp. 365-398. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0068245418000072

Mack, W & Hitchman, R 2016, 'Astypalaia and Hierapytna(?): Restoring Lost Polis-Ethnics in the Proxeny Catalogue of Astypalaia (I.Dor.Ins. 97)', Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , vol. 197, pp. 103-110. <http://www.habelt.de/index.php?id=29&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[fileurl]=dokumente/ZPE/197/&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[filename]=197103.pdf&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[license]=1&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[journal]=ZPE&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[band]=197&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[artikel]=103>

Mack, W 2015, 'Shepherds beating the bounds? Territorial identity at a dependent community (IPriene 361–63)', The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 135, pp. 51-77. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0075426915000063

Mack, W 2014, 'Communal interests and polis identify under negotiation: documents depicting sympolities between cities great and small', Topoi Orient Occident, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 87-116. https://doi.org/10.3406/topoi.2013.2461

Mack, W 2014, 'Consulting the Oracle at Dodona about a Female Proxenos? Lhôte no. 15 Reconsidered (SEG 56 663)', Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , vol. 188, pp. 155-8. <http://www.habelt.de/index.php?id=29&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[fileurl]=dokumente/ZPE/188/&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[filename]=188155.pdf&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[license]=1&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[journal]=ZPE&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[band]=188&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[artikel]=155>

Mack, W 2012, 'The Eresian Catalogue of Proxenoi (IG XII suppl. 127)', Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , vol. 180, pp. 217-229. <http://www.habelt.de/index.php?id=29&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[fileurl]=dokumente/ZPE/180/&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[filename]=180217.pdf&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[license]=1&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[journal]=ZPE&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[band]=180&tx_downloadpdf_pi1[artikel]=217>

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Mack, W 2019, Beyond potential citizenship: a network approach to understanding grants of Politeia. in M Dana & I Savalli-Lestrade (eds), La cité interconnectée dans le monde gréco-romain (ive siècle a.C.- ive siècle p.C.). : Transferts et réseaux institutionnels, religieux et culturels aux époques hellénistique et impériale. Ausonius, Bordeaux. <https://www.decitre.fr/livres/la-cite-interconnectee-dans-le-monde-greco-romain-ive-siecle-a-c-9782356132420.html>

Book/Film/Article review

Mack, W 2016, 'ESSAYS BY M.H. JAMESON - †Jameson ( M.H.) Cults and Rites in Ancient Greece. Essays on Religion and Society. Edited by A.B. Stallsmith with an Introduction by P. Cartledge . Pp. xxxvi + 362, ills. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Cased, £65, US$99. ISBN: 978-0-521-66129-4.', The Classical Review, pp. 171.

Mack, W 2015, 'Michael D. Dixon: Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Corinth. 338-196 B.C. (= Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies), London / New York: Routledge 2014, ISBN 978-0-415-73551-3, USD 140,00.', Sehepunkte. <http://www.sehepunkte.de/2015/09/25902.html>

Mack, W 2014, 'P. Gauthier edited by D. Rousset Études d'histoire et d'institutions grecques: choix d'écrits (Hautes études du monde gréco-romain 47). Geneva: Librairie Droz, (2011). Pp. viii + 755. €90.05. 9782600013642.', The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 134, pp. 197-198. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0075426914001840

Mack, W 2014, 'POST-CLASSICAL POLIS EPIGRAPHY. (P.) Martzavou,(N.) Papazarkadas (edd.) Epigraphical Approaches to the Post-Classical Polis. Fourth Century BC to Second Century AD. Pp. xx + 370, ills, maps. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2013. Cased, £90, US$160. ISBN:978-0-19-965214-3.', The Classical Review, vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 521-523. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009840X13004058

Mack, W 2013, 'SUMMA(D.) Ed. Inscriptiones Graecae consilio et auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Berolinensis et Brandenburgensis editae. Voluminis IX Partis I Editio altera. Fasciculus V. Inscriptiones Locridis orientalis. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2011. Pp. x + 147. €229. 3110262002.', The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 133, pp. 236. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0075426913000748

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