Professor Listing


Frances Pownall, PhD (Toronto 1993), MA (UBC 1987), BA (Hon.) (McGill 1985).



History and Classics

About Me

Frances Pownall (Professor, History and Classics) is the co-editor (with Tim Howe) of Ancient Macedonians in the Greek and Roman Sources: From History to Historiography (2018), and the author of Lessons From the Past: The Moral Use of History in Fourth-Century Prose (2004), as well as a series of monograph-length translations and historical commentaries on fragmentary Greek historians in Brill’s New Jacoby (2006–). She has published widely on Greek history and historiography of the classical and Hellenistic periods. She has held the office of Associate Chair (Undergraduate Studies) and Director of Classics, and has served on numerous Department and Faculty committees, including the Arts Faculty Evaluation Committee, Arts Research Committee, and Arts Executive Committee.


My research focuses upon Greek historiography of the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods. My earlier projects involved teasing out how the tension between intellectual culture and Athenian democratic ideals underpins much of the historical literature of the fifth and fourth centuries, which was written by and for the elite. I have now moved into questions of power and authority, focusing particularly upon the ways in which autocratic rulers (kings and tyrants from the Greek West through Philip and Alexander to the Hellenistic Successors) legitimized and justified their rule I am also involved in the translation and full commentary of a number of fragmentary Greek historians in Brill’s New Jacoby, a modern updating and extension of F. Jacoby’s magisterial 15-volume compilation of the fragments of the Greek historians, published on-line. My work on the Brill’s New Jacoby project has awakened a previously latent interest in the problematic sources for Philip and Alexander of Macedon, and I am currently in the early planning stages of a new major project, a translation and commentary on Book 16 of the Bibliotheke of Diodorus Siculus, the only extant continuous historical narrative of the reign of Philip II of Macedon.


Teaching Areas:

  • Greek History
  • History of the Ancient World
  • Greek language and literature
  • Greek historiography (Archaic through Hellenistic)
  • Philip and Alexander of Macedon
  • The Hellenistic World