Christopher Stray

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Christopher Stray (born October 29, 1943 ) is a British sociologist and historian of science in the field of the history of classical philology .


Stray received his Ph.D. from Swansea University with a sociological dissertation on the transformation of classics in schools, universities and society in England between 1830 and 1960. PhD. The revised dissertation was published as a book by Oxford University Press in 1998 . In 1999 Stray received the Runciman Award for this book .

Stray has been an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History and Classics at Swansea University since 1989. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London . He was also a member of the School of Historical Studies of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2012) and Jackson Brothers fellow at the Beinecke Library at Yale University (2005) and Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College of the University of Cambridge (1996-1998). He is a Life Member of the Hellenic Society .

Research priorities

Stray works on the history and sociology of ancient languages in school education and classical philology at the universities of the United Kingdom in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly Oxford and Cambridge. To this end, Stray works as the editor of thematic anthologies with numerous classical scholars in Great Britain and beyond. These volumes are partly dedicated to well-known classical scholars of the past ( William HD Rouse , Richard Jebb , AE Housman , Gilbert Murray , James Adam , Walter Headlam , Henry Jackson , William Ridgeway and Arthur Verrall ), partly to forms of publication such as classical dictionaries and monographs, for example the Greek-English Lexicon by Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott , partly the editorial principle of text correction , partly the academic teaching and examination practice in Classics, especially the Classical tripos in Cambridge, partly the vocation practice using the example of the praelections in Cambridge of 1906 and the History of the Classical Association .

Further projects on the Classical Commentaries, the history of Trinity College , Cambridge , and the history of the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London are planned.

He also takes part in the Classics and Class project led by Edith Hall as principal investigator on the class-based reception of ancient cultures and literatures in the United Kingdom, in which recipients from the working class are particularly taken into account.

Together with Ian Michael, he started a website for researching textbooks in 1988 , but it was closed in 2009.

Fonts (selection)


  • Classics in Britain: Scholarship, Education, and Publishing 1800-2000. (Classical Presences). Oxford; New York 2018.
  • Classics transformed: schools, universities, and society in England, 1830–1960. Clarendon Press, 1998. - Review by Robert B. Todd, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 98.6.16 .
  • The Living Word: WHD Rouse and the Crisis of Classics in Edwardian England. Bristol Classical Press, London 1992.


  • (Ed.): Sophocles' Jebb: A Life in Letters. Cambridge Philological Society, Cambridge 2013 (Cambridge Classical Journal supplement, 38). - Review by PJ Finglass, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.03.49 .
  • (Ed.): Expurgating the Classics: Editing Out in Greek and Latin. Bristol Classical Press, London 2012. Review by Ronnie Ancona, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 10/08/2013 .
  • (Ed.): Classical Dictionaries. Past, present and future. Duckworth, London 2010. - Review by Tom Keeline, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 07.51.2011 ; Alastair Fowler, in: Translation and Literature 21, 2012, pp. 96-101, (online) .
  • with David Butterfield (Ed.): AE Housman: Classical Scholar. Duckworth, London 2009, ISBN 978-0-7156-3808-8 . - Review by Stephen Harrison , in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 03.58.2010 .
  • with Lorna Hardwick (Ed.): A Companion to Classical Receptions. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester 2008, Paperback 2011, (excerpts online) . - Review by John Henderson, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008-08-38 .
  • with Judith P. Hallett (Ed.): British Classics Outside England - The Academy and Beyond. Baylor University Press, Waco, Texas 2008.
  • (Ed.): Remaking the classics. Literature, genre and media in Britain (1800-2000). Duckworth, London 2007. - Review by John Bulwer, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 07/31/2008 .
  • (Ed.): Gilbert Murray Reassessed. Hellenism, Theater, and International Politics. Oxford UP, Oxford 2007. - Review by Giuliana Scalera McClintock, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 03.10.2009 .
  • (Ed.): Oxford Classics: Teaching and Learning 1800–2000. Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., London 2007. - Review by Barbara F. McManus, in: International Journal of the Classical Tradition 16, 2009, pp. 292-296, (online) .
  • (Ed.): Remaking the Classics: literature, genre and media in Britain, 1800-2000. Duckworth, London 2007.
  • (Ed.): Classical Books: Scholarship and Publishing in Britain Since 1800. Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, London 2007 (Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Supplement 101). - Review by Lee T. Pearcy, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008-07-38
  • (Ed.): The Owl of Minerva. The Cambridge praelections of 1906. Reassessments of Richard Jebb, James Adam , Walter Headlam, Henry Jackson, William Ridgeway and Arthur Verrall. Cambridge Philological Society, Cambridge 2005 (Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society, Supplement 28). - Review by Pär Sandin, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2006.04.36 .
  • (Ed.): The Classical Association: The First Century 1903-2003. Classical Association, 2003, ISBN 0-19-852874-4 . - Review by PG Naiditch, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004-11-13 .
  • with Jonathan Smith (Ed.): Cambridge in the 1830s. The Letters of Alexander Chisholm Gooden, 1831-1841. Boydell Press, Woodbridge 2003, (excerpts online) .
  • with Jonathan Smith (Ed.): Teaching and Learning in Nineteenth-century Cambridge. Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge 2001, (on-line) .
  • (Ed.): Classics in 19th and 20th Century Cambridge: Curriculum, Culture and Community. Cambridge Philological Society, Cambridge 1998 (Cambridge Philological Society, Suppl. 24), ISBN 0-906014-23-9 . - Review by David A. Traill, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2000.05.04 .


  • A parochial anomaly: The Classical Tripos 1822-1900. In: Christopher Stray, Jonathan Smith (Eds.): Teaching and Learning in Nineteenth-century Cambridge. Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge 2001, pp. 31-44, (excerpts online) .

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