Dr Leah Lazar

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Academic Background

Originally from London, I came to New College, Oxford for my BA in Classics (2011-2015), MSt in Greek and Roman History (2015-2016) and DPhil in Ancient History (2016-2019). My doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Athenian Power in the Fifth Century BC’ was supervised by Peter Thonemann and Lisa Kallet. After my DPhil, I was a stipendiary lecturer at Corpus Christi College in Oxford (2020), before moving to Cambridge to lecture at the Faculty of Classics, and teach at St John’s College (2020-2021). I’ve now returned to Oxford for full-time research on the CHANGE project at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (2021-2025).

Research Interests

My research explores the political economy of the Greek world, especially at the interface of imperial power and civic autonomy. While I am first and foremost a historian, and make use of a broad range of sources, I have specialist expertise in epigraphy and numismatics. 

My first monograph, based on my doctoral thesis, is entitled Negotiated Empire: Athenian Power in the Fifth Century BC. Challenging orthodox approaches, which have been mostly empirical and monolithic, the monograph argues Athenian power was flexible and a matter of negotiation between the Athenians and their allies. Additionally, it compares the operation of Athenian power in different Aegean regions. 

For the CHANGE project, funded by the European Research Council, I am in the process of writing a second monograph, with the working title Imperial and Civic Economies in Asia Minor from Croesus to Mithridates. It will explore the impact of different imperial powers on the economies of cities in Anatolia from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period, offering an economic perspective on the complex interaction between cities and empires in the ancient world.

My other forthcoming and in-progress publications concern Athenian Old Comedy and the Achaemenid Persian Empire in Anatolia.

Research Keywords

Greek history, Athenian empire, Greek epigraphy, numismatics, ancient Anatolia, ancient economy.


I have lectured on fifth-century Greek history and Thucydides, and I have given tutorials and seminars on a wide range of topics in Greek and Roman History. I also enjoy teaching papers beyond my research specialisms, especially social historical topics such as sexuality and gender, and slavery. In Oxford, I have taught: ‘Greek History 1 650-479 BC’; ‘Greek History 2 478-404 BC’; ‘Greek History 3 403-336 BC’; ‘Alexander the Great and his Early Successors’; ‘Athenian Democracy’; Thucydides’ Sicilian Expedition; ‘Aristophanes’ Political Comedy’; ‘Texts and Contents’; and ‘Sexuality and Gender in Greece and Rome’.


Full Publications:

Selected Publications:

‘The Athenian Empire and Epigraphic Cultures’. The Journal of Hellenic Studies (forthcoming).
‘An imagined and imagining demos in Athenian public inscription’ in X. Buxton and E. Clifford (eds.) The Imagination of the Mind in Fifth-Century Athens: Forms of Thought. London, Routledge (forthcoming).
‘What causes a war? The Case of Thucydides’ Sicilian Expedition’. Omnibus (forthcoming). 
‘Antipatros of Derbe, Akmoneia and Rome in a notebook of William Mitchell Ramsay.’ Philia International Journal of Mediterranean Studies 6 (2020), pp. 42-52. With Marcus Chin. https://doi.org/10.36991/PHILIA.202003
‘Review. Kallet, L. and Kroll, J.H. 2020. The Athenian Empire. Using Cοins as Sources. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge’. Numismatic Chronicle 182 (2022), pp. 417-8.
‘Review. Osborne, R., Rhodes, P.J., 2017. Greek historical inscriptions, 478-404 BC. Oxford University Press, Oxford.’ Classics Ireland 25 (2018), pp. 140-3.