Dr Kathryn Stevens
I studied in Oxford and Cambridge and held postdoctoral fellowships at Copenhagen University and Trinity College, Cambridge before moving to Durham in 2014.
My main research interests are in Greek and Mesopotamian cultural and intellectual history, with a particular focus on the Hellenistic period. My first monograph, Between Greece and Babylonia: Hellenistic Intellectual History in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2019) examines connections between Greek and Babylonian scholarship in the Hellenistic period and argues for a new, cross-cultural approach to the writing of Hellenistic intellectual history.
A second strand of research involves ancient celestial scholarship and its contexts. Together with Johannes Haubold and John Steele, I co-edited the first volume of collected essays on the Astronomical Diaries from Babylon: a collection of almost 1000 clay tablets which, over a period of some five hundred years (6th century to 1st century BCE), record observations of astronomical phenomena and events on earth. The volume (Keeping Watch in Babylon: The Astronomical Diaries in Context, Brill, 2019) asks who the scholars were, what motivated them to ‘keep watch in Babylon’ and how their approach changed in the course of the collection’s long history. I have also written articles on Greek geography, Seleucid kingship and local elites, ancient libraries and localism in the Hellenistic world.
Areas of Doctoral Supervision
I am keen to supervise students working on all aspects of Hellenistic history and culture, as well as the broader cultural and intellectual histories of the Greek world and Mesopotamia during the first millennium BC. Cross-cultural contact between Greece and Mesopotamia and the intersections between political and intellectual life, particularly in imperial systems, are two of my major research interests.
Schools talks and Outreach
I am very happy to give talks on topics in Greek, Hellenistic and Near Eastern history and historiography. Potential titles include: Herodotus and Greek history; Hellenistic kingship; Babylonia in the age of Alexander the Great; Ancient astrology. Please get in touch, and feel free to suggest other topics.
- Hellenistic history
- Greek and Roman historiography
- Greece and the Near East
- Intellectual history
- Mesopotamian history
- Stevens, Kathryn (2019). Between Greece and Babylonia: Hellenistic Intellectual History in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Cambridge University Press.
- Haubold, Johannes, Steele, John & Stevens, Kathryn (2019). Keeping Watch in Babylon: The Astronomical Diaries in Context. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East. Brill.
Chapter in book
- Stevens, Kathryn (2019). From Babylon to Bahtar: the geography of the Astronomical Diaries. In Keeping Watch in Babylon: The Astronomical Diaries in Context. Haubold, Johannes, Steele, John & Stevens, Kathryn Brill. 100: 198-236.
- Robson, Eleanor & Stevens, Kathryn (2019). Scholarly tablet collections in first-millennium Assyria and Babylonia, c.700–200 BCE. In Libraries Before Alexandria: Near Eastern Traditions. Barjamovic, G. & Ryholt, K. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 317-364.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2016). Empire begins at home: local elites and imperial ideologies in Hellenistic Greece and Babylonia. In Cosmopolitanism and Empire: Universal Rulers, Local Elites, and Cultural Integration in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean. Lavan, M., Payne, R. E. & Weisweiler, J. New York: Oxford University Press. 65-88.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2016). From Herodotus to a “Hellenistic” world? The eastern geographies of Aristotle and Theophrastus. In New Worlds out of Old Texts: Developing Techniques for the Spatial Analysis of Ancient Narratives. Barker, E., Bouzarovski, S., Pelling, C. & Isaksen, L. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 121-152.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2014). The Antiochus Cylinder, Babylonian Scholarship and Seleucid Imperial Ideology. Journal of Hellenic Studies 134: 66-88.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2013). Secrets in the Library: Protected Scholarship and Professional Identity in Late Babylonian Uruk. Iraq: Journal of the British Institute for the study of Iraq 75: 211-253.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2012). Collations to the Antiochus Cylinder (BM 36277). N.A.B.U. nouvelles assyriologiques brèves et utilitaires 2012(2): 35, 46-47.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2018). "Francesca Rochberg. Before Nature: Cuneiform Knowledge and the History of Science". Isis 109(1): 162-163.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2016). Review of Dillery (J.) Clio's Other Sons: Berossus and Manetho, with an Afterword on Demetrius. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2015. Pp. xxxviii + 494. $50. 9780472052271. The Journal of Hellenic Studies 136: 242-243.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2015). Review of J. Koenig, K. Oikonomopoulou and G. Woolf (eds.) Ancient Libraries. Journal of Roman Studies 105: 401-402.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2014). Review of J. Haubold, G. B. Lanfranchi, R. Rollinger and J. Steele (eds.) The World of Berossos: Proceedings of the 4th International Colloquium on 'The Ancient Near East Between Classical and Ancient Oriental Traditions', Hatfield College, Durham, 7th-9th July 2010. Journal of Hellenic Studies 134: 176-178.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2014). Review of M. Vierros, Bilingual Notaries in Hellenistic Egypt: A Study of Greek as a Second Language. Journal of Hellenic Studies 134: 290-291.
- Stevens, Kathryn (2015). Alexander the Great and the Substitute King. (70): 24-25.