Greg Woolf

Ronald J. Mellor Distinguished Professor of Ancient History

5262 Bunche Hall

Phone: 310-825-4601


PDF icon cv_2022_jan_long.pdf


PhD Cambridge

MA, BA Oxon

Areas of Interest

Urbanism; human mobility; culture and imperialism; ecology and resilience, the Roman economy, archaeological theory, Pre-modern Mediterranean World; Temperate Europe


Greg has a long-standing interest in the culture of empire in the ancient world. He has worked on the formation of provincial cultures, often using archaeological material, and also on the cosmopolitan cultures of the metropolis. Much of his work considers the Roman world in a global perspective.

He has written on literacy, on knowledge cultures and libraries, on ethnography, on the Roman economy, on gendered Roman history and on the emergence of religions. His latest book The Life and Death of Ancient Cities. A Natural History, reflects a growing interest in the history of the very long term. Currently he is working on a book on migration and mobility, and also on urban resilience as one aspect of the environmental history of antiquity.


Woolf, G. (2021) Religião e Pluralidade no Império Romano. Um debate necessário, Editoria UFPR: Curitiba.

Rüpke, Jörg and Greg Woolf, eds. (2021) Religion in the Roman Empire. Die Religionen der Menschheit. Kohlhammer: Stuttgart

Woolf, G. D. (2020). Rome: An Empire's Story. Revised and expanded second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Woolf, G. (2020) The Life and Death of Ancient Cities. A Natural History. Oxford University Press: Oxford and New York.

König, J. P., & Woolf, G. (Eds.) (2017). Authority and Expertise in Ancient Scientific Culture. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge & New York.

König, J. P., Oikonomopoulou, K., & Woolf, G. (Eds.) (2013). Ancient Libraries. Cambridge University Press.

König, J. P., & Woolf, G. (Eds.) (2013). Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Cambridge University Press

Hemelrijk, E., & Woolf, G. (Eds.) (2013), Women and the Roman City in the Latin West. (Mnemosyne, Supplements, History and Archaeology of Classical Antiquity). Leiden: EJ Brill Publishers.

Rüpke, J., & Woolf, G. D. (Eds.) (2013). Religious Dimensions of the Self in the Second Century CE. (Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum; 76). Stuttgart: Mohr Siebeck.

Woolf, G. D. (2012). Rome: An Empire's Story. New York: Oxford University Press.(translated into German, Italian, Portugese)

Woolf, G. (2011). Tales of the Barbarians: Ethnography and Empire in the Roman West. (Blackwell Bristol Lectures on Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition). Wiley-Blackwell.

Woolf, G. D. (2006). Et tu Bruté? The murder of Caesar and political assassination.Profile Books.

Woolf, G. D. (Ed.) (2003). Cambridge Illustrated History of the Roman World. Cambridge University Press.

Edwards, C., & Woolf, G. D. (2003). Rome the Cosmopolis. Cambridge University Press.

Woolf, G. D. (1998). Becoming Roman. The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul. Cambridge University Press.

Bowman, A. & Woolf, G. D., (Eds.) (1994). Literacy and Power in the Ancient World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Additional publications listed at


Member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences

Fellow of the British Academy

Member of Academia Europea

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland