Glen W. Bowersock headshot

Glen W. Bowersock

Professor Emeritus
School of Historical Studies

Ancient History


Historical Studies

Glen Bowersock is an authority on Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern history and culture as well as the classical tradition in modern literature. He uses his exceptional knowledge of classical texts in many languages, together with inscriptions, coins, mosaics, and archaeological remains, to illuminate the mingling of different cultures and to draw unexpected and revelatory conclusions. His research interests include the Greek East in the Roman Empire and late antiquity as well as pre-Islamic Arabia. He is the author of over 400 articles and a dozen books, including Augustus and the Greek World (1965), Greek Sophists in the Roman Empire (1969), Julian the Apostate (1978), Roman Arabia (1983), Hellenism in Late Antiquity (1990), Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (1994), Martyrdom and Rome (1995), Mosaics as History: The Near East from Late Antiquity to Islam (2006), From Gibbon to Auden: Essays on the Classical Tradition (2009), The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam (2013), and The Crucible of Islam (2017).

Dates at IAS

School of Historical Studies
School of Historical Studies
School of Historical Studies


University of Oxford
University of Oxford
Harvard University


Appointments: University of California, Berkeley, Sather Professor 1991–92
Awards: American Numismatic Society, Honorary Life Fellow 2017; Prix Albert Bernard 2015; American Historical Association, James H. Breasted Prize 1992; Rhodes Scholar 1957–60
Decorations: Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres 2007; Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur 2004
Honorary Degrees: University of Athens 2005; École Pratique des Hautes Études 1999; Université de Strasbourg 1990
Honorary Fellowship: Balliol College, University of Oxford
Memberships: Académie Royale de Belgique; Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; American Philosophical Society; Deutsches Archäologisches Institut; Institut de France (Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres); Russian Academy of Sciences


Harvard University
Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences 1977–80, Chairman of the Department of the Classics 1972–77, Professor 1962–80