Alan Cameron (classical scholar)

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Alan Douglas Edward Cameron, FBA (13 March 1938 – 31 July 2017) was a British classicist and academic. He was Charles Anthon Professor Emeritus of the Latin Language and Literature at Columbia University, New York. The focus of his scholarship was often Late Antique history and literature, looking at topics such as the circus factions.

He was educated at St. Paul's School, London (1951–56) and went on to New College, Oxford, earning a first class degree in Honour Moderations (1959) and Literae Humaniores (1961). Cameron began his academic career as a Lecturer at the University of Glasgow (1961). He then became a Lecturer and then a Reader in Latin at Bedford College, London (1964-1972). From 1972-1977 he held the Chair of Latin at King's College London. He went to Columbia University as Charles Anthon Professor in 1977.

Cameron was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1975. He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978 and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society in 1992. In March 1997 he was awarded the American Philological Association's Goodwin Award. In 2005, he received Columbia University's Lionel Trilling Award.

In 2013, he was awarded the Kenyon Medal for Classical Studies and Archaeology of the British Academy. The award dedication read as follows:

"Alan Cameron has produced a major series of books on various aspects of the later Graeco-Roman world, from early Hellenistic times to the late Empire. He has a remarkable flair for synthesising literary with social and political history, at the same time clarifying the nature and relationships of the sources, and he regularly subjects long-accepted doctrines to examination and challenge. For students of Hellenistic poetry his Callimachus and His Critics (1995) has become a central point of reference, while his work on the Palatine Anthology, The Greek Anthology: From Meleager to Planudes (1993) threw much new light on the transmission of that great composite collection of epigrams. Other major works have included Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius (1970), Greek Mythography in the Roman World (2004), and most recently The Last Pagans of Rome (2011)."

Cameron's books include:

  • Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius (1970)
  • Porphyrius the Charioteer (1973)
  • Circus Factions: Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (1976)
  • Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius (May 1992) (with Jacqueline Long and Lee Sherry)
  • The Greek Anthology: From Meleager to Planudes (1993)
  • Callimachus and his Critics (1995)
  • Greek Mythography in the Roman World (2004) (reviewed by T P Wiseman in the Times Literary Supplement, 13 May 2005 page 29)
  • The Last Pagans of Rome (2011) (reviewed by Peter Brown in the New York Review of Books, 7 April 2011)
  • Wandering Poets and Other Essays in Late Antique Poetry and Philosophy (2015).

Cameron has also published about 200 scholarly articles on a wide range of subjects related to the ancient world.

He died on 31 July 2017 in New York.[1]


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