School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr John Holton

Lecturer in Ancient History

Background

BA Ancient History (Wales), MA Ancient History and Classical Culture (Wales), PhD Classics (Edinburgh).

In my research I focus on late Classical and Hellenistic history and culture, and my main interests include Alexander the Great, Hellenistic kingship, the Hellenistic polis, and ruler cult. I am interested particularly in the interconnections between various types of literary and material evidence, and also Greek historiography in its own right, particularly the historian Diodorus Siculus and his position in a late Hellenistic intellectual-historical context. 

Before coming to Newcastle in September 2015, I held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Edinburgh (2014-15), where I had also completed my PhD under the supervision of Professor Andrew Erskine.

Current positions within the School:

Admissions Tutor for Classics

Open Day Coordinator for Classics

Convenor for the 'Writing of History', an HCA Strategic Research Theme

Teaching

***I am on research leave in Semester 1 of the 2017/18 academic year.***


In Semester 2 of 2017/18, I will be teaching the following:

(As module leader) 

CAG1012: Intermediate Greek Language and Literature 2

CAH2006 : In Alexander's Footsteps: Classical and Hellenistic Empires

(As contributing lecturer)

CAH2009 : Portfolio in Ancient History I: Commentaries

CAH8020 : Masterclass in Ancient History

CAC8107 : Independent Study Project in Classics and Ancient History 2


Research

Research interests

My interests can be united under the heading of late Classical and Hellenistic history and culture, but can be divided into the following areas:

  • Alexander the Great (including aspects of his ancient reception)
  • Hellenistic kingship (primarily the period of the diadochoi, but also major dynasties)
  • The Hellenistic polis
  • Ruler cult and conceptions/traditions of divine monarchy
  • Greek historiography (principally Diodorus Siculus)

In the majority of my historical research I aim to integrate the relevant material and literary evidence, including coinage, artwork, epigraphy, poetry, and texts of various prose genres.


Current research

I am currently completing the final draft of a monograph entitled Kingship and Royal Self-Representation in the Early Hellenistic World, which is an expanded and revised version of my doctoral thesis. Using a wide range of evidence and adopting a holistic perspective, this book examines the emergence of different modes of royal self-representation in the tumultuous period after Alexander the Great's death in 323 BC and their contribution to the development of the institution of kingship.

After completing this monograph, I will begin a new project on the political ethics and intellectual indebtedness of Diodorus Siculus.

Postgraduate supervision

I would welcome prospective PhD students wishing to focus on the areas indicated above and indeed Hellenistic history and culture more broadly.


Publications