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Bob Sharples Postgraduate Studentship Fund

Bob Sharples

The Department of Greek and Latin at UCL has created a postgraduate studentship fund to honour the memory of Professor Bob Sharples. The fund will offer bursaries to deserving postgraduate students based in our department whose special area of interest lies in an aspect of ancient Philosophy (at either MA or PhD level). The Fund has been established in recognition of Bob’s scholarship and research interests, and in order to support postgraduate study at a time when many students are struggling to find the funds to continue their study of the ancient world beyond their first degree.

Anyone wishing to donate can contact the Departmental Office at (0207 679 7522), or donate online at

Select 'Greek and Latin' from the menu, then 'Bob Sharples Postgraduate Studentship Fund'. Donors (UK taxpayers) are encouraged to use Gift Aid to increase the value of the donation.

Those who wish to donate through the post can download a UCL Gift form here.

BOB SHARPLES (1949-2010)

Bob Sharples was a member of the UCL department of Greek and Latin for over thirty years until his retirement in 2009. Sadly, he died from cancer in August 2010. Bob won international distinction for his work in ancient philosophy, especially physics (or ‘natural philosophy’) and in the Peripatetic tradition after Aristotle. His pioneering interest in previously under-studied figures such as Alexander of Aphrodisias led the way in the field.

Educated at Dulwich College and at Trinity College, Cambridge, Bob was awarded the Ph.D. degree in 1978 (Studies in the De Fato of Alexander of Aphrodisias). He became a Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in 1972, and from 1973 until his retirement at UCL where he was first lecturer, then Reader (1990) and shortly after Professor of Classics (1994). He was also a part-time tutor for the Open University for many years. Bob served the department and the college with distinction and was always ready and willing to take on with good cheer the most difficult and sometimes unappealing academic responsibilities. His knowledge of departmental and university rules and procedures was formidable. He also was fully committed to his discipline nationally and internationally, exceptionally generous with his time supporting colleagues and thoroughly dedicated to the care and education of his students.

Bob regularly collaborated with the Philosophy department in running the Keeling lectures and colloquia, and in publishing their papers. He was a member of Project Theophrastus, directed by Bill Fortenbaugh, Rutgers, with special responsibility for material in physics and biology. Other collaborations included his analysis of Aristotle, Metaphysics Lambda, for the Archelogos project, and the decipherment of the commentary on Aristotle's Categories fragments of which are preserved in the Archimedes palimpsest.

Bob’s funeral took place on 20th August at Holy Trinity Northwood where he had been an active member of the church. The congregation contained many members of UCL as well as former colleagues and students and colleagues from other universities. An extraordinarily rich list of just some of his many publications (14 books and 9 edited collections) graced the funeral booklet. Bob also published over 100 articles in the course of his lively and full academic career.