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Roderick Beaton grew up in Edinburgh where he first studied Latin and ancient Greek before going on to Peterhouse, Cambridge, to graduate with a BA in English Literature and a PhD in Modern Greek. He came to King’s in 1981 as Lecturer in Modern Greek Language and Literature, and in 1988 was appointed to the Koraes Chair. For ten years he headed the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (whose functions since 2015 have been taken over by the Department of Classics), and from 2012 to 2016 is Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, part of the Arts & Humanities Research Institute.

From October 2009 to September 2012 he held a Major Leverhulme Fellowship, and during autumn 2010 the Visiting Fellowship of the British School at Athens, on whose Council he also serves. His most recent book, arising out of his Leverhulme-funded research, is Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution (2013), which won the Runciman Award and the Elma Dangerfield Prize and was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).

Research interests and PhD supervision 

  • Greek literature and history from the 12th century to the present
  • Nationalism and national identity in the Hellenic world
  • Classical reception in Byzantium and modern Greece
  • the Greek novel (ancient, medieval and modern) in comparative context

I am particularly interested in supervising projects that cross disciplinary boundaries, especially between literary study and history, and with a focus on the Hellenic world in modern times (broadly defined).

Selected Publications


Myth and modern literature; nations and nationalism in the Hellenic world; Romanticism and the making of modern Greece; Classical reception in modern Greece; and (at MA level) the history of the Greek novel in comparative context.

Expertise and public engagement 

As Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies I am responsible for a regular programme of international conferences, academic workshops, public lectures and seminars that draw audiences of over 1000 to King’s over the year. Information about the current year’s programme can be found on theEvents homepage.

I have made many appearances on Greek radio and several on television, related to my books on Seferis, Byron and to my ongoing work on Greek national identity. Over the last few years I have given several in-depth interviews to major Greek newspapers. The reception of my research into the making of modern Greece and Lord Byron’s contribution to the Greek Revolution was the subject of an impact case-study in REF2014, and highlighted in the Higher in early 2015. I am available to talk to the media about any aspect of current affairs involving Greece or Cyprus.

  • REF 2014 (panel member for Classics) 
  • Frequent appearances in print media and radio in Greece

For more details, please see my full research profile