Professor Esther Eidinow

BA (Oxon.), MA (Oxon.), DPhil (Oxon.)

  • BS8 1TB


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My broad area of expertise is ancient Greek society and culture, with specific focus on ancient Greek religion and magic. I have published monographs on oracles, curse tablets and binding spells, concepts of fate, luck and fortune, and the social emotions surrounding ‘witchcraft’ trials in classical Athens. I am the editor with Thomas Harrison (St Andrews) of a new series on Ancient Religions and Cognition for Cambridge University Press, and co-founder and co-Editor in Chief (with Luther Martin, Vermont) of the Journal of Cognitive Historiography; I have just started (2019) a new series (with Katherina Lorenz at Giessen, and Anna Collar, Southampton) on Ancient Environments.

I take an interdisciplinary approach to research, employing cognitive and anthropological theories to investigate ancient evidence, with particular interest in questions about social emotions, the concept of the individual and ideas of the self, network theory, and the socio-cultural power of narrative. I am currently working on projects exploring narratives and environmental risk; myth and landscape; the idea of 'belief'; and concepts of change in the ancient world.

Much of my work is informed by a broader curiosity about how different cultures respond to not knowing about the future (raising questions about responses to uncertainty, risk, and decision making). This has been shaped by my career before academia, when I worked as an editor and writer, specializing in scenarios and strategy for business, governments and international organisations, such as UNAIDS. I still work with some of my business and strategy colleagues on related questions—e.g., what makes a narrative about the future seem plausible.

Supervision: I currently supervise graduate theses on the development and transmission of cult, representations of mythical figures,cognitive approaches to Dionysiac ritual. I have been shortlisted for the Bristol Student Award for Outstanding Supervision of Research Students in 2018/19 and 2019/2020.

I welcome applications from prospective postgraduate students with research interests in any aspect of archaic and classical Greek society and culture, particularly, but not limited to, ancient Greek religion and magic, myth, historiography, cognitive humanities, history of emotions.

Office: 11 Woodland Road, Room 1.34 A.

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Research Output

Ancient Myths and Modern SMEs

Eidinow, E., 1 Apr 2020, In : Organizational Aesthetics. 9, 1, p. 41-52

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 7 Downloads (Pure)

    Gendered Time and Narrative Structure in Herodotos’ Histories

    Eidinow, E., 31 Jan 2020, Narratives of Time and Gender in Antiquity. Eidinow, E. & Maurizio, L. (eds.). Taylor & Francis Group

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


    Philip Leverhulme Prize

    Eidinow, Esther (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

  • Activities

    Ancient Magic

    Esther Eidinow (Participant)

    2 Mar 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    Reading University Classics Seminar

    Esther Eidinow (Participant)

    26 Feb 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    The Annual Carl C. Schlam Memorial Lecture

    Esther Eidinow (Speaker)


    Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic talk, debate, discussion

    Supervised Work

    The Representation of Athens and Sparta in Charles Rollin’s Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Macedonians and Grecians

    Author: Rogers, J. M., 28 Nov 2019

    Supervisor: Tomlinson, R. C. (Supervisor) & Eidinow, E. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)