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Department of Classics and Ancient History


Prof. Christopher Rowe, OBE, MA, PhD (Cantab.) OBE

(email at


Christopher Rowe (Head of Department 2004-8) formally retired in 2009 as Professor of Greek.

His latest major publication is Plato: Theaetetus and Sophist (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy), published by CUP in December 2015. His first book was The Eudemian and Nicomachean Ethics: a study in the development of Aristotle's thought (CUP, 1971); more recently, he co-authored, with Terry Penner, a monograph on Plato's Lysis (CUP 2005, in the series Cambridge Studies in the Dialogues of Plato edited by M.M.McCabe), and was sole author of Plato and the Art of Philosophical Writing (CUP 2007), a major study on Plato as a writer of philosophy. He has written commentaries on Hesiod (Bristol Classical Press, 1978), and on four dialogues of Plato: Phaedrus (Aris & Phillips, 1986, with translation), Phaedo (CUP, 1993), Statesman (Aris & Phillips, 1995, with translation), and Symposium (Aris & Phillips, 1998, with translation); he has edited or co-edited four volumes: Reading the Statesman: Proceedings of the III. Symposium Platonicum (Academia Verlag, 1995), The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought (CUP, 2000, with Malcolm Schofield), New Perspectives on Plato, Modern and Ancient (Harvard University Press for the Center for Hellenic Studies, 2002, with Julia Annas), and The Circle of Socrates: Readings in the First-Generation Presocratics (Hackett, 2013, with George Boys-Stones); he has also translated Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, to accompany a fine, full philosophical commentary by Sarah Broadie (OUP 2002), and produced three volumes of translations for Penguin: Plato, Phaedrus (2005),The Last Days of Socrates (2010: part republished as The Defence of Socrates, one of the Penguin Little Black Classics, 2015), and Plato, Republic (2012). [An exhaustive list of his publications from 1969 to 2013 inclusive is to be found in George Boys-Stones, Dimitri El Murr and Christopher Gill (edd.), The Platonic Art of Philosophy (CUP, 2013), pp.312-24.]

In the course of his career Professor Rowe served, inter alia, as Chair of the Council of University Classical Departments, Chair of Council of the Classical Association, interim Chair of the Classical Association Journals Board (the Managing Board for Classical Quarterly, Classical Review and Greece & Rome), President of the Hellenic Society, and Joint Editor of Phronesis, based in Leiden (1997-2003), for which he is now a member of the Advisory Board; he is also a member of the Founding Editorial Board of History of Political Thought (Exeter), and of the editorial boards of the Academia Verlag series International Plato Studies (Sankt Augustin), of Méthexis (Buenos Aires, then Milan, now Leiden), and of Philosophie Antique. Problèmes, Renaissances, Usages (Lille). He is currently series editor of the Brill series Philosophia Antiqua (Leiden. 2015-).

He has been a Junior Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC, and a Solmsen Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, Wisconsin-Madison. He has held a Leverhulme Personal Research Professorship (1999-2004), the chief outcomes of which were the translation of Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics and the monograph Plato and the Art of Philosophical Writing (see above).

Professor Rowe was appointed OBE in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to scholarship. He continues to publish, and to give occasional seminars and lectures in the UK, continental Europe and the US, as Emeritus Professor of the Department.

Research Interests

  • Aristotle
  • Greek philosophy
  • Greek political theory
  • Socrates and Plato

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Rowe, Christopher (Published). The First Generation Socratics and the Socratic Schools. In From the Socratics to the Socratic Schools: Classical Ethics, Metaphysics and Epistemology. Zilioli, Ugo Routledge. 26-42.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2015). Plato, Socrates, and the genei gennaia sophistike of Sophist 231b. In Second Sailing: Alternative Perspectives on Plato. Nails, Debra & Tarrant, Harold Societas Scientiarum Fennica. 132: 149-67.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2013). 'Socrates and his Gods: from the Euthyphro to the Eudemian Ethics'. In Politeia [essays in honour of Malcolm Schofield]. Lane, Melissa & Harte, Verity Cambridge University Press. 313-328.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2013). La fin du Théetète. In La mesure du savoir. Êtudes sur le Théétete. D. El Murr Vrin. 173-187.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2013). On justice and the other virtues in the Republic: whose justice, whose virtues? In Proceedings of the International Plato Symposium 2010. S.Kato, N.Notomi & L.Brisson Academia Verlag. 49-59.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2012). Socrates in Plato's Laws. In Presocratics and Plato: Festschrift at Delphi in Honor of Charles Kahn. Patterson, Richard, Karasmanis, Vasilis & Hermann, Arnold Parmenides Publishing. 367-387.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2011). Socratic citizenship. In The Notion of Citizenship in Greek Philosophy. E.Moutsopoulos & M.Protopapas-Marneli Academy of Athens Research Centre on Greek Philosophy. 58-69.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2010). Boys, Kingship, and Board-games: a note on Plato, Politicus 292E-293A. In Il quinto secolo. Studi di filosofia in onore di Livio Rossetti. S.Giombini & F.Marcacci Aguaplano-Officina del Libro. 529-533.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2010). L'argument relatif à la pleonexia dans le premier livre de la République deux conceptions de ce que c'est qu' “avoir davantage”. In Aglaïa. Autour de Platon. Mélanges offerts à Monique Dixsaut. A.Brancacci, D.El Murr & D.Taormina Vrin. 289-305.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2010). On Grey-haired Babies: Plato, Hesiod, and visions of the past (and future). In Plato and Hesiod. G.R.Boys-Stones & J.H.Haubold Oxford University Press. 298-316.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2010). Plato. In The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. M.Gagarin Oxford University Press. 5: 297-307.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2010). Self-examination. In The Cambridge Companion to Socrates. D.Morrison Cambridge University Press. 201-214.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2010). The Good and the Just in Plato’s Gorgias. In Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. In Honor of G.Santas. G.Anagnostopoulos Philosophical Inquiry/Polyentupo Editions. 169-189.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2010). The relationship of the Laws to other dialogues: a proposal. In A Handbook to Plato’s Laws. C.Bobonich Cambridge University Press. 29-50.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2010). Thomas Taylor the Platonist. In Argumenta in dialogos Platonis, Teil I: Platoninterpretation und ihre Hermeneutik von der Antike bis zum Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts. A.Neschke-Hentschke Basel. 315-325.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2009). Charioteer and his Horses: an example of Platonic myth-making. In Plato’s Myths. C.Partenie Cambridge University Press. 134-147.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2009). Greek Political Theory. In The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies. Boys-Stones, G. R., Graziosi, B. & Vasunia, P. Oxford University Press. 401 - 409.
  • Rowe, Christopher & OKell, Eleanor (2009). The “Research-Teaching Nexus” and the Learning-Teaching Relationship: who’s in charge?’. In Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 8. 180-190.
  • Rowe, Christopher. (2007). Plato and the Persian Wars. In Cultural Responses to the Persian Wars. Bridges, E., Hall, E. & Rhodes, P. J. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 85-104.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2005). What difference do Forms make to Platonic epistemology?. In Virtue, Norms, and Objectivity: Issues in Ancient and Modern Ethics. Gill, Christopher Oxford: Clarendon Press. 215-232.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2003). Plato. In The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Philosophy. Sedley, D.N. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 98-124.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2003). Plato on knowing and merely believing. In Ideal and Culture of Knowledge in Plato. Detel, W.,, Becker, A., & Scholz, P. Stuttgart: 57-68.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2003). Plato, Socrates and developmentalism. In Desire, Identity and Existence Studies in Honour of T.M.Penner. Reshotko, N. Kelowna, BC, Canada: 17-32.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2003). Reply to Richard Kraut. In Plato and Aristotle's Ethics. Heinaman, R. Aldershot: 168-176.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2003). Reply to Roger Crisp. In Plato and Aristotle's Ethics. Heinaman, R. Aldershot: 79-86.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2003). The status of the 'myth' in Plato's Timaeus. In Plato Physicus Cosmologia e antropologia nel Timeo. Natali, C., & Maso, S. Amsterdam: Adolf Hakkert. 21-31.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2002). Handling a philosophical text. In The Classical Commentary History, Practices, Theory. Gibson, R.K., & Kraus, C.S. Leiden: Brill. 295-318.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2002). The Politeiai of Zeno and Plato. In The Philosophy of Zeno. Scaltsas, T., & Mason, A. Larnaka: 291-308.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2002). Zwei oder drei Phasen? Der Mythos im Politikos. In Platon als Mythologe Neue Interpretationen zu den Mythen in Platons Dialogen. Janka, M., & Schäfer, C. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. 160-175.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2001). Socrates. In Fifty Major Thinkers on Education from Confucius to Dewey. Palmer, Joy A. London: Routledge. 5-10.

Edited book

  • Annas, Julia & Rowe, Christopher. (2002). New Perspectives on Plato, Modern and Ancient. Washington, DC: Harvard University Press for Center for Hellenic Studies (Trustees for Harvard University).
  • Rowe CJ, M Schofield [co-editor and co-author], [about 20 other contributors] (2000). The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought.

Journal Article

  • Rowe, Christopher (Published). Methodologies for Reading Plato. Oxford Handbooks Online 02/15.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2015). Aristotle's Other Ethics: some recent translations of the Eudemian Ethics. Polis, The Journal for Ancient Political Thought 32: 211-232.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2015). Plato versus Protagoras: the Statesman, the Theaetetus and the Sophist. Diálogos 47(98): 143-166.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2011). Reading Socrates in Plato’s Dialogues. Hermathena 186: 25-41.
  • Rowe, C. (2010). How to Read Plato: Some Rival Approaches. The Journal of Greco-Roman Studies 42: 161-179.
  • Rowe, Christopher (2001). Killing Socrates Plato's later thoughts on democracy. Journal of Hellenic Studies 121: 63-76.

Translated Book

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