Department of History

Eric Robinson

  • Professor, Department of History
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Classical Studies


  • B.A. at Yale University, 1986
  • Ph.D. at University of Pennsylvania, 1994

Contact Information

Ballantine Hall, Rm. 730
(812) 855-1745


Eric Robinson

I am a historian of ancient Greece and Rome. I teach courses on a variety of subjects in both Greek and Roman history, from introductory surveys to undergraduate and graduate-level seminars. My research has focused on questions of ancient Greek politics, warfare, and religion, but most especially on Greek democracy. My first book, entitled The First Democracies, explores the emergence of the ancient form of popular government in numerous city-states in the Archaic Age of Greek history (800-480 BC). My second monograph, Democracy Beyond Athens, describes democracy’s expansion and character in the Classical Age (480-323 BC), and was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press. Connections between ancient and modern forms of democracy, war, and imperialism have been an interest of mine as well, to which I have devoted a few articles. My current research project explores the consequences of Sparta’s unique military reputation in Classical Greece. I am also writing the ancient and early medieval portions of a major new Western Civilization textbook.

Research Interests

  • Archaic and Classical Greece
  • Democracy
  • Political and military history

Courses Recently Taught

  •   Introduction to Ancient Civilization
  •   Greek History, Bronze Age to the Persian Wars
  •   Greek History, Persian Wars to the Legacy of Alexander
  •   Ancient Greek Democracy
  •   The Peloponnesian War
  •   Greek Historians: Herodotus and Thucydides

Publication Highlights


Democracy Beyond Athens: Popular Government in the Greek Classical Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Ancient Greek Democracy: Readings and Sources (Oxford and Malden, MA:  Blackwell, 2003).

Oikistes: Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World Offered in Honor of A. J. Graham (Leiden: Brill, 2002). [Co-editor with Vanessa Gorman].

The First Democracies: Early Popular Government Outside Athens (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1997).

Recent Articles

“Thucydides on the Causes and Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War” in The Oxford Handbook of Thucydides (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
“What Happened at Aegospotami? Xenophon and Diodorus on the Last Battle of the Peloponnesian War” Historia 63.1 (2014), 1-16.

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