Andrew Barker (classicist)

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Andrew Barker
Born Andrew Dennison Barker
(1943-04-24) 24 April 1943 (age 75)
Nationality British
Children Five
Academic background
Education Christ's Hospital
Alma mater
Academic work
Discipline Classics

Andrew Dennison Barker, FBA (born 24 April 1943) is a British classicist and academic, specialising in ancient Greek music and the intersection between musical theory and philosophy. He was Professor of Classics at the University of Birmingham from 1998 to 2008, and had previously taught at the University of Warwick, University of Cambridge, and Selwyn College, Cambridge.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Barker was born on 24 April 1943. He was educated at Christ's Hospital, then an all-boys charity school in Southwater, Sussex.[1] He studied Literae Humaniores at The Queen's College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.[1][2] He then studied at the philosophy of biology at the Australian National University, from which he completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.[2]

Academic career[edit]

Barker's early specialism was ancient Greek philosophy. He later became interested in ancient musical theory and the music of ancient Greece. This led to an interest in the "points of intersection between musical theory and philosophy".[2]

In 1970, Barker joined the Philosophy Department of the University of Warwick as a lecturer in philosophy.[1][3] In 1976, he joined the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge as an assistant lecturer in classics.[1][2] From 1977 to 1978, he was also a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge and its Director of Studies in classics and philosophy.[1] He returned to Warwick in 1978 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 1987.[1]

Wanting to move from a philosophy specialist to a classicist, Barker joined the Classics Department of the University of Otago in 1992.[2] He was a senior lecturer in classics from 1992 to 1995, and was appointed a Professor in 1995.[1] He returned to England to join the University of Birmingham in 1996 as Reader in Classics.[1] He was promoted to Professor of Classics in 1998.[1] He also held a British Academy Research Professorship between 2000 and 2003.[2] He retired from full-time academia in 2008 and was appointed Emeritus Professor.[1][3]

Personal life[edit]

Barker was first married to Susan Margaret Hough; their marriage was dissolved in 1976. Together they had two sons. In 1978, he married Jill Davida Newman. Together they have three children: one daughter and two sons.[1]


In 2005, Barker was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.[3] He gave the inaugural Martin West Memorial Lecture at the University of Oxford in March 2017; his lecture was titled "Migrating musical myths: the case of Euripides and the Libyan lotos".[4]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 'BARKER, Prof. Andrew Dennison', Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 16 Oct 2017
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Professor Andrew Barker BA, PhD, FBA". Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology. University of Birmingham. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Professor Andrew Barker". The British Academy. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Martin West Memorial Lecture". Faculty of Classics. University of Oxford. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.