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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 Greek and Roman philosophy (especially Presocratics, Platonism, and Pythagoreanism); Greek literature; intellectual history of Greece, Rome, and the Near East.

Current PhD Students

Giulia de Cesaris: The Philosophical Path of Pythagoreanism in the Imperial Age (Primary Supervisor)

Andrea Giannotti: Athenian Tragedy and Politics: Historical and Political Allusions and Civic Ideology on Stage (Primary Supervisor)

Richard Beniston: Seneca and Post-Hellenistic Stoicism (Secondary Supervisor)

Jun Yeob Lee: The aperilēpton in Epicureanism (Secondary Supervisor)


Phillip Sidney Horky is Associate Professor of Ancient Philosophy (from October 2017). His research concerns ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, with focus on metaphysics, the philosophy of science, and political theory. Before arriving in Durham in 2011, he held a Residential Fellowship at Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies (2010-11) and a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship at Stanford University (2007-10). He has also been a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the National Humanities Center (2016-17). Dr Horky was educated at the University of Southern California (PhD), the University of Chicago (AM), and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (BA). 

Dr Horky has written a monograph, Plato and Pythagoreanism (Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback edition, with corrections, 2016), on the importance of mathematical Pythagoreanism for the development of Plato's philosophy. He has also recently completed several new articles which deal with the Early Academy and Hellenistic & Posthellenistic philosophy: one examines the pursuit and purpose of philosophy according to Speusippus and Xenocrates, the first scholarchs of Plato's Academy after his death; another concerns the philosophical biography of Empedocles; another is a study of theoretical philosophy among the Pythagorean Pseudepigraphers; and another examines the importance of Plutarch for modern theories of animal rationality. 

Dr Horky is currently working on three major research projects. The first project involves two related books: the first book, Pythagorean Philosophy, 250 BCE to 200 CE: An Introduction and Collection of Sources in Translation, is a source book and translation of the philosophical texts and testmonies that constituted Pythagorean philosophy after its dissolution in the mid-4th Century BCE; the second book, provisionally titled Pythagoreanism after Pythagoreanism, is a monograph that argues for Dr Horky's formulation of Pythagorean philosophy during this period. The second major project is a monograph on the development of categorical speculation regarding existence and our modes of describing it prior to Aristotle, provisionally entitled Prelude to the CategoriesFinally, Dr Horky is preparing for publication an edited volume entitled Cosmos in the Ancient World (Cambridge University Press, 2018). This volume investigates notions of cosmic order, balance, and symmetry in ancient physics, politics, ethics, poetics, and aesthetics. Publications, drafts, and a current CV can be found on his web page.

Dr Horky is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Hellenic Studies (UK), Methexis: International Journal for Ancient Philosophy (Netherlands/Italy), and Archai: Revista de Estudos sobre as Origens do Pensamento Ocidental (Brazil). He is also co-editor of the Greece & Rome New Surveys in the Classics Series, published by Cambridge University Press, and a member of the journals editorial board for the Classical Association (UK). He is also a trustee of the Gilbert Murray Trust. From 2012-15, Dr Horky was a Member of the Council of the Hellenic Society (UK).

Research Interests

  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Greek Literature
  • Intellectual History
  • Greece and the Near East
  • Ancient Italy and Sicily


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

  • Horky, Phillip Sidney. (Accepted). 'Italic Philosophy in the Hellenistic Age'. In The Oxford Handbook of Roman Philosophy. Shearin, W.S. & Flecher, R. Oxford University Press.
  • Horky, Phillip Sidney (2018). 'Introduction'. In Cosmos in the Ancient World. Horky, P. S. Cambridge University Press.
  • Horky, Phillip Sidney (2018). 'Speusippus and Xenocrates on the Pursuit and Ends of Philosophy'. In Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity. Tarrant, H. & Renaud, F. Leiden: Brill.
  • Horky, Phillip Sidney (2018). 'When did Kosmos become the Kosmos?'. In Cosmos in the Ancient World. Horky, P. S. Cambridge University Press.
  • Horky, Phillip Sidney (2018). ‘Cosmic Spiritualism among the Pythagoreans, Stoics, Jews, and Early Christians.’. In Cosmos in the Ancient World. Horky, P. S. Cambridge University Press.
  • Horky, Phillip Sidney (2016). 'Empedocles Democraticus: Hellenistic Biography at the Intersection of Philosophy and Politics'. In Bios Philosophos. Philosophy in Ancient Greek Biography. Bonazzi, M. & Schorn, S. Leuven: Brepols. 37-71.
  • Horky, Phillip Sidney (2015). 'Pseudo-Archytas´ Protreptics? On Wisdom in its Context'. In Second Sailing: Alternative Perspectives on Plato. Nails, D. & Tarrant, H. Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica. 21-39.

Edited book

  • Horky, Phillip Sidney (2018). Cosmos in the Ancient World. Cambridge University Press.

Journal Article

Staff by Research Cluster

CHESS Website