Robin Lane Fox

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This article is about the historian. For the anthropologist, see Robin Fox. For the theatrical agent, see Robin Fox (theatrical agent).
Robin Lane Fox
Robin James Lane Fox, FRSL.jpg
Robin Lane Fox at Financial Times 125th Anniversary Party, London, in June 2013
Born Robin James Lane Fox
(1946-10-05) 5 October 1946 (age 69)
Nationality British
Alma mater Eton
Magdalen College, Oxford
Occupation Educator, author
Known for Historian of classical antiquity

Robin James Lane Fox, FRSL (born 5 October 1946[1]) is an English classicist, ancient historian and gardening writer known for his works on Alexander the Great.[2] Lane Fox is an Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford and Reader in Ancient History, University of Oxford. Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at New College from 1977 to 2014, he serves as Garden Master and as Extraordinary Lecturer in Ancient History for both New and Exeter Colleges. He has also taught Greek and Latin literature and early Islamic history.[3][4]

His major publications, for which he has won literary prizes including the James Tait Black Award,[5] the Duff Cooper Prize,[6] the W.H. Heinemann Award[7] and the Runciman Award,[8] include studies of Alexander the Great and Ancient Macedon, Late Antiquity, Christianity and Paganism,[9] the Bible and history, and the Greek Dark Ages.


Lane Fox was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, of which he was a Fellow 1970–73.[1] Like his fellow historians Paul Cartledge and Alan Cameron, and philosophers Terence Irwin and John McDowell,[10] he was an undergraduate student of G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, whom he succeeded at New College in 1977 after a lectureship and Fellowship at Worcester College, Oxford.[1][11]

Other important influences on his contributions to the study of ancient history include Louis Robert,[12] Peter Brown,[13] E.R. Dodds,[13] Timothy Barnes,[13] E.J. Bickerman,[14] Martin Litchfield West,[15] Walter Burkert,[15] and his long-standing New College colleague W.G. (George) Forrest.[16]

He was historical advisor to the film director Oliver Stone for the epic Alexander. His appearance as an extra in cavalry manoeuvres, in addition to his work as a historical consultant, was publicised at the time of the film's release.[17][18][19]

He wrote and presented Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes, which was first broadcast on BBC Four at 9:00pm on 15 November 2010.[20]

Lane Fox is the gardening correspondent of the Financial Times and an outspoken opponent of garden gnomes.[21]


He is the father of entrepreneur Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, who co-founded, and Henry Lane Fox, CEO of The Browser website.[22]

Selected publications[edit]