School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr John Holton

Lecturer in Ancient History


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

My research focuses on the history and literature of the late Classical and Hellenistic periods. My main interests, which often coincide, include Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic empires, kingship and royal ideology, and Greek intellectual history. I remain strongly interested in the analytical opportunities offered by studying interconnections between various types of literary and material evidence.

I am currently completing a monograph titled The World of Hellenistic Kingship, and my next research project will focus on the late Hellenistic historian Diodorus Siculus.

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, funded by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Erskine.

Current roles and responsibilities within the School of History, Classics and Archaeology

  • Convenor for 'The Writing of History', an HCA Strategic Research Theme
  • Degree Programme Director, MA Classics and Ancient History (4035 F/P)

Recent roles

  • Admissions Tutor and Selector for the UG programmes Q800, Q810, QQ83, V110
  • Open Day Co-Ordinator for Classics and Ancient History


Feedback, Guidance, and Consultation hours, 2018/19 (teaching weeks only)


Tuesdays 9.00-12.00


Tuesdays 9.00-12.00

Teaching, 2018/19


(As module leader)

CAG1011 : Intermediate Greek Language and Literature 1

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

CAC8000 : Research Skills and Dissertation Training [PG]

CAC8106 : Independent Study Project in Classics and Ancient History 1 [PG]


(As module leader) 

CAH3010 : The Life and Afterlife of Alexander the Great

CAH8020 : Masterclass in Ancient History [PG]

CAC8107 : Independent Study Project in Classics and Ancient History 2 [PG]

(As contributing lecturer)

CAH2009 : Portfolio in Ancient History I: Commentaries


(As module leader)

CAC8090 : Dissertation for MA Classics and Ancient History [PG]


Current research

I am currently completing a monograph entitled The World of Hellenistic Kingship, which examines the ideological development of kingship, and its relation to contemporary political and cultural environments, in the tumultuous period after Alexander the Great's death.

My next project, already underway in some respects, focuses on the political ethics and intellectual indebtedness of Diodorus Siculus. This builds on some recent papers that I have delivered and articles and chapters that I have been writing, which have focused on Diodorus' early modern reception, his literary and generic backgrounds, and his place in modern historiography.

Beyond basileia and Diodorus, ongoing research interests and activities include Hellenistic poetry and Plutarch's Hellenistic Lives.

Postgraduate supervision

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