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Stephen Colvin

Stephen Colvin

Professor of Classics and Historical Linguistics

Term time office hours: [on research leave Jan. - May 2016]


Research interests: Greek language, dialect and literature; Mycenaean Greek; historical linguistics and sociolinguistics 

IRIS research profile

After a degree in Classics (Oxford 1988) I did an MPhil. in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology (including a course in Hittite at SOAS in 1989), then concentrated on Greek dialect and sociolinguistics for my PhD ( Oxford 1993). I spent two years at UCL as a British Academy research fellow, and then eight years at Yale teaching in the Department of Classics. I returned to UCL in 2004.

I am interested in the language of Greek literature as a sociolinguistic phenomenon; in the Greek dialects and the emergence of the koine; and in Mycenaean Greek. I have also worked on bilingualism and the development of the Greek language in Lycia.

I have taken courses in Turkish, partly to acquire some perspective on Indo-European, and partly because it is such a wonderful language.

Larger Publications:

  • A Brief History of Ancient Greek (Wiley-Blackwell 2013)
  • A Historical Greek Reader: Mycenaean to the Koiné (Oxford 2007)
  • The Greco-Roman East (YCS 31: Cambridge 2004)
  • Dialect in Aristophanes: the Politics of Language in Ancient Greek Literature (Oxford 1999)

Articles and Chapters: