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Department of Philosophy


Dr Phillip Horky, AM (Chicago), PhD (Southern California)

(email at

Areas of Doctoral Supervision

Most areas and periods of ancient philosophy (especially Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, and Pythagoreanism); intellectual history of Greece, Rome, and the Near East.

Current PhD Student

Nicolò Benzi: Philosophy in Verse: Early Greek Poetry and the Expression of Philosophical Thought


Phillip Sidney Horky is Lecturer of Classics and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East (CAMNE). His research focuses on ancient philosophy, especially in its literary, historical, and intellectual contexts. He has recently published a monograph, Plato and Pythagoreanism (Oxford University Press, 2013), on the importance of mathematical Pythagoreanism for the development of Plato's philosophy, as well as articles on cosmology in the Early Academy, dialectic and ontology in Theophrastus' Metaphysics, and Hellenistic ethics in ancient Italy. 

Dr Horky is working on three major research projects. The first project, tentatively entitled Pythagorean Philosophy, 250 BCE to 200 CE, investigates the philosophy of those Hellenistic and Post-Hellenistic philosophers who associated themselves with Pythagoreanism after its dissolution in the mid-4th Century BCE. The second project is the development of an international research network, with special focus on the idea of the Ancient Republic, co-organized with Prof. Monte Johnson of the University of California - San Diego and Dr Grant Nelsestuen of the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Finally, Dr Horky is preparing an edited volume on Cosmos in the Ancient World, with papers taken from Classics and Ancient History's 2012-13 Research Seminar. Publications, drafts, and a current CV can be found on his web page.

Before coming to Durham, Dr Horky taught at Stanford University and at Claremont McKenna College. For the academic year 2010-11, he was a Residential Fellow at Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies

Dr Horky also runs workofmemory, a blog with occasional thoughts on ancient philosophy, classics, and intellectual history. From 2012-15, Dr Horky is a Member of the Council of the Hellenic Society, and he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Hellenic Studies

Dr Horky is Director of the Postgraduate Taught MA Programmes in the Department of Classics and Ancient History.

Research Interests

  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Intellectual History
  • Greece and the Near East
  • Greek Literature
  • Magna Grecia


Books: authored

Books: reviews

Journal papers: academic