Greg Woolf

A photo of Greg Woolf
E-mail: Phone: 310-825-4601 Office: Bunche Hall 5262

Ronald J. Mellor Distinguished Professor of Ancient History

Fields of Interest: Culture of the Roman World, Roman Economy, Gendered Roman History


  • PhD, Cambridge
  • MA, BA (Oxon), Oxford University


Greg Woolf has broad interests in the culture of the Roman world, especially its relation to the various power dynamics that formed the empire. His first book Becoming Roman in Gaul examined the formation and transformation of provincial cultures through archaeological evidence. Since then he has written on literacy, on knowledge cultures and libraries, on ethnography, on the Roman economy, on gendered Roman history and on the emergence of religions. His latest book is The Life and Death of Ancient Cities. A Natural History, which reflects a growing interest in the history of the very long term. Currently he is working on a book on migration and mobility and also on urban resilience as one aspect of the environmental history of antiquity.

Selected Publications

  • Woolf, G. (2021) Religião e Pluralidade no Império Romano. Um debate necessário, Editoria UFPR: Curitiba.
  • Rüpke, Jörg and Greg Woolf, eds. (2021) Religion in the Roman Empire. Die Religionen der Menschheit. Kohlhammer: Stuttgart
  • Woolf, G. D. (2020). Rome: An Empire’s Story. Revised and expanded second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Woolf, G. (2020) The Life and Death of Ancient Cities. A Natural History. Oxford University Press: Oxford and New York.
  • König, J. P., & Woolf, G. (Eds.) (2017). Authority and Expertise in Ancient Scientific Culture. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge & New York.
  • König, J. P., Oikonomopoulou, K., & Woolf, G. (Eds.) (2013). Ancient Libraries. Cambridge University Press.
  • König, J. P., & Woolf, G. (Eds.) (2013). Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Cambridge University Press
  • Hemelrijk, E., & Woolf, G. (Eds.) (2013), Women and the Roman City in the Latin West. (Mnemosyne, Supplements, History and Archaeology of Classical Antiquity). Leiden: EJ Brill Publishers.
  • Rüpke, J., & Woolf, G. D. (Eds.) (2013). Religious Dimensions of the Self in the Second Century CE. (Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum; 76). Stuttgart: Mohr Siebeck.
  • Woolf, G. D. (2012). Rome: An Empire’s Story. New York: Oxford University Press.(translated into German, Italian, Portugese)
  • Woolf, G. (2011). Tales of the Barbarians: Ethnography and Empire in the Roman West. (Blackwell Bristol Lectures on Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition). Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Woolf, G. D. (2006). Et tu Bruté? The murder of Caesar and political assassination.Profile Books.
  • Woolf, G. D. (Ed.) (2003). Cambridge Illustrated History of the Roman World. Cambridge University Press.
  • Edwards, C., & Woolf, G. D. (2003). Rome the Cosmopolis. Cambridge University Press.
  • Woolf, G. D. (1998). Becoming Roman. The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul. Cambridge University Press.
  • Bowman, A. & Woolf, G. D., (Eds.) (1994). Literacy and Power in the Ancient World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.