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Rhodes, P.J. 1940–

Rhodes, P.J. 1940–

(Peter J. Rhodes)

PERSONAL:

Born 1940.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Durham, Department of Classics and Ancient History, 38 N. Bailey, Durham DH1 3EU, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Hellenist, educator, and author. University of Durham, Durham, England, classics department specialist in Greek history, 1965-2005, professor, 1983-2005, honorary professor and emeritus professor, 2005—. Has been a junior fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, and has held visiting fellowships at the University of New England, Australia; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Florida State University, Tallahassee; Wolfson, Corpus Christi and All Souls Colleges, Oxford, England; and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Member, Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean.

MEMBER:

British Academy (fellow), Royal Danish Academy (foreign member).

WRITINGS:

The Athenian Boule, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1972, 2nd edition 1985.

A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1981.

The Athenian Empire, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1985.

The Greek City States: A Source Book, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK), 1986, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2007.

(With David M. Lewis) The Decrees of the Greek States, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1997.

Ancient Democracy and Modern Ideology, Duckworth Publishers (London, England), 2003.

A History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 B.C., Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2006.

TRANSLATOR AND AUTHOR OF INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

Greek Historical Inscriptions, 359-323 B.C., London Association of Classical Teachers (Hatfield, England), 1971.

The Athenian Constitution, Penguin (New York, NY), 1984.

Thucydides: History II, Aris & Phillips (Warminster, Wiltshire, England), 1988.

Thucydides: History III, Aris & Phillips (Warminster, Wiltshire, England), 1994.

Thucydides: History IV, Aris & Phillips (Warminster, Wiltshire, England), 1998.

(With Robin Osborne) Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404-323 B.C., Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2003.

EDITOR

(With Lynette G. Mitchell) The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece, Routledge (New York, NY), 1997.

David M. Lewis, Selected Papers in Greek and Near Eastern History, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Athenian Democracy, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

(With Emma Bridges and Edith Hall) Cultural Responses to the Persian Wars: Antiquity to the Third Millennium, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2007.

The author's works have been translated into Polish, Greek, and Italian.

SIDELIGHTS:

P.J. Rhodes is a scholar, Hellenist, professor, writer, and editor. He spent the bulk of his career at the University of Durham as the classics department specialist in Greek history for forty years, as well as being a professor there for twenty-two years, before retiring as a professor emeritus in 2005. Through his career, Rhodes has also been a junior fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, and has held visiting fellowships. A fellow of the British Academy, he is also a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy and the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean. As a scholar of Greek history, Rhodes specializes in Greek "historical literature" and in "Greek politics and political institutions," according to a biographical profile about him posted on the Durham University Web site.

Rhodes's first book, The Athenian Boule, was published in 1972 and reissued in a second edition in 1985. His second book, A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia, was published in 1981, and it was the first work on the topic to be published since 1912. Rhodes's 1997 book, which he edited with Lynette G. Mitchell, is titled The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece, and was developed from an academic conference of the same name. It is Rhodes's later books, however, that have been more widely reviewed, such as Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404-323 B.C., which was published in 2003. Rhodes, along with Robin Osborne, is the translator and the author of the book's introduction and notes.

Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404-323 B.C. is the continuation of one of Rhodes's earlier volumes, Greek Historical Inscriptions, 359-323 B.C., picking up where the other left off. The book begins with an introduction that sets the historical context for the selections discussed, and then moves on to provide the inscriptions, translations of the inscriptions, and a description of the monument or plaque in which each inscription appears. Each inscription is then further explicated with regard to its individual context. According to Thomas Corsten in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, the book "is aimed at making the most interesting and important epigraphic documents of the period more easily accessible to historians." Indeed, Corsten noted that many scholars today are unable to read Greek. Corsten also felt that "the selection of texts seems … rather reasonable. That Athenian inscriptions are well represented is unavoidable, given the overwhelming production of this city; however, Athenian predominance is not too heavy." Ultimately, Corsten stated that "this selection of inscriptions is a welcome and very useful book, particularly for the ‘non-specialist,’ since it makes (sometimes difficult) texts easily accessible; and it shows the importance of the epigraphical documentation for the study of ancient history."

One of Rhodes's most widely reviewed book is A History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 B.C., which was published in 2006. Largely focusing on the political history of the time, Rhodes also touches on the day-to-day aspects of ancient Greek life during what is now known as the classical period. Each section of the book focuses on different areas of Greece, such as Sparta and Athens. The book's chronological organization is largely driven by the various wars in which Greece participated from 478 to 323 B.C.E., including the Peloponnesian War. According to a Reference & Research Book News contributor, the book "provides a straightforward narrative" that is "laced with analysis."

Critics were impressed by A History of the Classical Greek World. For instance, Frances Pownall, writing in the Canadian Journal of History, felt that "it is no exaggeration to state that Peter Rhodes is one of the great scholars of Greek history of the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries." Following that complimentary statement, Pownall observed that "the great strength of this book is Rhodes's ability to sift through the often contradictory evidence on complicated historical questions and achieve a rational and succinct conclusion in clear and readable prose." The critic additionally noted that Rhodes "exercises his considerable scholarly acumen" on a "diverse" range of subjects. Following this line of reasoning, Pownall concluded that "Rhodes does an excellent job of making this crucial period of Greek history accessible to the student and non-specialist reader."

Rhodes's work has remained accessible throughout his career, and more than a few of his books have been issued in multiple editions. For example, the second edition of The Greek City States: A Source Book, was published in 2007, twenty-one years after it was first released. The second edition has several new chapters on topics ranging from women and children to religion, as well as two vastly expanded sections on related historical eras. Because of these changes, a Contemporary Review critic found that the second edition of The Greek City States has "brought new life to a well respected study and will be appreciated" by scholars.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Journal of Philology, June 22, 2000, William C. West, review of Selected Papers in Greek and Near Eastern History, p. 320.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review, October 8, 2004, Thomas Corsten, review of Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404-323 B.C.

Canadian Journal of History, September 22, 2006, Frances Pownall, review of A History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 B.C., p. 337.

Choice, June 1, 2006, C.M. Green, review of A History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 B.C., p. 1882; January 1, 2008, R.T. Ingoglia, review of Cultural Responses to the Persian Wars: Antiquity to the Third Millennium, p. 876.

Classical Review, November 1, 1999, Graham Shipley, review of The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece, p. 462; November 1, 2004, "Democracy and Us," p. 460; May 1, 2005, "Articles on Democracy," p. 215; May 1, 2005, "Fourth-Century Greek Inscriptions," p. 315.

Contemporary Review, December 22, 2007, review of The Greek City States: A Source Book, p. 535.

Greece & Rome, April 1, 1989, John Percival, review of Thucydides: History II, p. 90; April 1, 1998, Hans Van Wees, review of The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece, p. 95.

Historian, June 22, 2006, Owen Cramer, review of Athenian Democracy, p. 397.

Journal of Hellenic Studies, January 1, 2005, R.J. Lane Fox, review of Ancient Democracy and Modern Ideology, p. 170; January 1, 2005, Polly Low, review of Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404-323 B.C., p. 185; January 1, 2007, Robert Garland, review of The History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 B.C., p. 179.

Journal of Near Eastern Studies, July 1, 2002, Matthew W. Waters, review of Selected Papers in Greek and Near Eastern Studies, p. 230.

Mnemosyne, August 1, 2001, review of Thucydides: History II, p. 511.

Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2005, review of A History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 B.C.

Times Educational Supplement, April 3, 1987, review of The Greek City States, p. 30.

Times Literary Supplement, October 9, 1998, Rosalind Thomas, review of Selected Papers in Greek and Near Eastern History, p. 31; August 29, 2003, Mary Ritter Beard, review of Ancient Democracy and Modern Ideology, p. 28 May 18, 2007, "Persian Versions: Myth and Reality in Wars between West and East," p. 3.

ONLINE

Durham University Web site,http://www.dur.ac.uk/ (May 28, 2008), author profile.

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