Department of History

Eric Robinson

  • Professor, Department of History


  • B.A. at Yale University, 1986
  • Ph.D. at University of Pennsylvania, 1994

Contact Information

Ballantine Hall, Rm. 730
(812) 855-1745


Eric Robinson



I am a historian of ancient Greece and Rome. I teach courses on a variety of subjects in both Greek and Roman history, from introductory surveys to undergraduate and graduate-level seminars. My research has focused on questions of ancient Greek politics, warfare, and religion, but most especially on Greek democracy. My first book, entitled The First Democracies, explores the emergence of the ancient form of popular government in numerous city-states in the Archaic Age of Greek history (800-480 BC). My second monograph, Democracy Beyond Athens, describes democracy’s expansion and character in the Classical Age (480-323 BC), and was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press. Connections between ancient and modern forms of democracy, war, and imperialism have been an interest of mine as well, to which I have devoted a few articles. My current research project explores the consequences of Sparta’s unique military reputation in Classical Greece. I am also writing the ancient and early medieval portions of a major new Western Civilization textbook.

Research Interests

  • Archaic and Classical Greece
  • Democracy
  • Political and military history

Publication Highlights


Democracy Beyond Athens: Popular Government in the Greek Classical Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Ancient Greek Democracy: Readings and Sources (Oxford and Malden, MA:  Blackwell, 2003).

Oikistes: Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World Offered in Honor of A. J. Graham (Leiden: Brill, 2002). [Co-editor with Vanessa Gorman].

The First Democracies: Early Popular Government Outside Athens (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1997).


“Democracy, non-Athenian” in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

“Greek Democracies and the Debate over Democratic Peace,” in M. H. Hansen, ed. Démocratie athénienne – démocratie moderne: tradition et influences, Fondation Hardt Entretiens vol. 56 (Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 2010), 277-306.

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