Alan Cameron

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Alan Cameron, 2013

Alan Douglas Edward Cameron (March 13, 1938 - July 31, 2017 in New York City ) was a British classical philologist , ancient historian and Byzantine scholar .

Alan Cameron attended St. Paul's School in London from 1951 to 1956 . He studied at Oxford University (1961 BA, 1964 MA). He began his academic career in 1961 as a lecturer at the University of Glasgow . He was then a Lecturer and then Reader in Latin at Bedford College , London (1964–1972). From 1972 to 1977 he was a professor at King's College London . From 1977 he taught at Columbia University in New York and was Charles Anthon Professor of the Latin Language and Literature until 2008 . He was married to the ancient historian and Byzantinist Averil Cameron from 1962 to 1980 .

His subject area included Hellenistic and Roman poetry, late antique literature, aspects of late antique and Byzantine history, and the transmission history of ancient texts.

Cameron was considered one of the leading researchers on Claudian . With his treatise on the most important late Roman poet, published in 1970, he gave numerous impulses. Although some of its conclusions are controversial, the book is still considered a standard work. Furthermore, Cameron has dealt with the late Roman and early Byzantine circus parties and the conditions at the courts of the emperors Flavius ​​Honorius and Arcadius .

At the end of 2010, after years of delay, the long-awaited and very extensive study The Last Pagans of Rome was published , in which Cameron primarily deals with the pagan elites in the 4th century and, among other things, rejects the idea of ​​a “pagan revival”. Likewise, in the work he relativizes the extent of the conflict between pagan and Christian ideas during this time and emphasizes that many of the classical cultural ideas were also important for Christians. The book has received considerable research attention. Cameron's various theses were discussed controversially, especially at a scientific conference held on November 10 and 11, 2011 in Perugia, Italy .

Cameron has received numerous academic honors and memberships for his research. He was inducted into the British Academy (1975), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1979) and the American Philosophical Society (1992). In 1997 he received the Goodwin Award of Merit in Classical Scholarship from the American Philological Association , in 2005 the Lionel Trilling Award from Columbia University and in 2013 the Kenyon Medal for Classical Studies from the British Academy.

Fonts (selection)

  • Claudian. Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius. 1970.
  • Porphyry the charioteer. 1973.
  • Circus factions. Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium. 1976.
  • Literature and society in the early Byzantine world. 1985.
  • Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius. 1993 (with the collaboration of Jacqueline Long and Lee Sherry; review by Bryn Mawr Classical Review ; online here ).
  • Callimachus and his critics. 1995.
  • Greek Mythography in the Roman World. (American classical studies 48), Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York, 2004. ( Review by Bryn Mawr Classical Review).
  • The Last Pagans of Rome. Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York 2011 ( review by H-Soz-u-Kult ; review by Bryn Mawr Classical Review).


  1. ^ Professor Alan Cameron, 1938–2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017 .
  2. See the review in Gnomon 49, 1977, p. 26ff.
  3. See the corresponding articles in: Rita Lizzi Testa (Ed.): The Strange Death of Pagan Rome. Reflections on a Historiographical Controversy (= Giornale Italiano di Filologia 16). Brepols, Turnhout 2013, ISBN 9782503549422 ( review at sehepunkte ).
  4. Membership page at the British Academy ( Memento from August 6, 2017 in the Internet Archive )

Web links