Brunt, P.A. 1917–2005

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Brunt, P.A. 1917–2005

(Peter Astbury Brunt)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born June 23, 1917, in Coulsdon, Surrey, England; died November 5, 2005, in Oxford, England. Historian, educator, college administrator, and author. Brunt was a noted Oxford University scholar of ancient history who was best known for his research and writings on Roman history. He began his studies at Oriel College, Oxford, in 1937, but the start of World War II interrupted his education. Medical issues made him unfit for active military service, so instead he worked in the Ministry of Shipping as temporary assistant principal for the duration. After the war, he returned to school at Magdalen College, where he did doctoral research on the affects of Stoicism in Rome. From 1947 to 1951, Brunt was a lecturer in ancient history at St. Andrews University; he then returned to Oxford as a fellow and tutor at Oriel College. By 1959 he was filling administrative posts, first as dean of Oriel College from 1959 to 1964, then as senior bursar of Gonville and Caius College from 1968 to 1970. His last role at Oxford was as Camden Professor of ancient history and fellow of Brasenose College from 1970 until he retired in 1982. As a scholar, Brunt was known for dispelling some commonly held conceptions about Rome, including showing that Stoicism did not have the influence upon Roman thought some scholars believed, that the Roman equites were not a class of businessmen separate from the senators of the Roman Republic, and that Roman politicians were perfectly capable of forming friendships beyond those superficially established purely to advance political agendas. Brunt explained his findings on Roman political and social history in a number of well-regarded books, including Social Conflicts in the Roman Republic (1971), The Fall of the Roman Republic and Related Essays (1988), and Roman Imperial Themes (1990). He also wrote the Greek history Studies in Greek History and Thought (1993). Another collection of his papers had been assembled by the time of his death and may be published posthumously.



Independent (London, England), November 25, 2005, p. 48.

Times (London, England), November 23, 2005, p. 63.