Barbara Levick

Barbara M. Levick (born 21 June 1931)[1] is a British historian and epigrapher, focusing particularly on the early Roman Republic and late Empire. She is recognised within her field as one of the leading Roman historians of her generation.[2]

Front cover image of Barbara Levick, Tiberius the Politician (1999)
Front cover image of Barbara Levick, Tiberius the Politician (1999)


Levick was educated at St Hugh's College, Oxford.[3] Her DPhil, on the subject of Roman colonies in South Asia minor was undertaken in the mid 1950s and supervised by Ronald Syme.[2] For this research she made two solo trips to Turkey, placing herself in a tradition at this time of largely Scottish and male epigraphers travelling in Anatolia.[2] She focused however on Psidia, a region that lay away from the routes explored by a group of her male contemporaries, although she was the only one to publish a book as a result of research from these expeditions.[2]


In 1959 Levick was appointed a university Fellow and tutor for Roman History at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and in 1967 published her first monograph, drawing on material from her doctoral thesis, which forty years after its publication was described as a "resilient classic of Roman history".[3][4][2] [5] The importance of this work came from both its focus on the Roman impact on Asia Minor, and the drawing together of both epigraphic and numismatic evidence.[5][2] In this work she used the discoveries she made at Yalvaç, and considered again material that had been neglected since the 1920s.[2]

She was an influential editor of inscriptions who shaped the format of the Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua series, directing two volumes of its publication.[2] Her biographies of Roman emperors and Imperial women are widely known and receive largely positive reviews from their critics.[6][7] [8][9]

Her portrait was painted for St Hilda's College by Jane Cursham.[10]

Selected publications

A fuller bibliography of her works up to 2007 can be found in the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. Supplement, No. 100, VITA VIGILIA EST: ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF BARBARA LEVICK (2007).[11]


  • Faustina I and II: Imperial Women of the Golden Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Julia Domna, Syrian Empress (London: Routledge, 2007)
  • The Government of the Roman Empire. A Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 1985)
  • Claudius (1990); this biography was translated into French in 2002 by historian Isabelle Cogitore.
  • Nero
  • The Year of the Four Emperors (2000)
  • Vespasian (1999)
  • Tiberius the Politician. London: Thames and Hudson, 1976. Reprint, London: Croom Helm, 1988. ISBN 0-7099-4132-3.
  • Augustus: Image and Substance. London: Longman, 2010. ISBN 9780582894211.
  • Catiline. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781472534897.[12]


  • Two Pisidian Colonial Families. In: The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 48, No. 1/2 (1958), pp. 74–78
  • Acerbissima Lex Servilia. In: The Classical Review, New Series, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Dec., 1967), pp. 256–258
  • A Cry from the Heart from Tiberius Caesar?. In: Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1st Qtr., 1978), pp. 95–101
  • Poena Legis Maiestatis. In: Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 28, No. 3 (3rd Qtr., 1979), pp. 358–379
  • Claudius Speaks: Two Imperial Contretemps. In: Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 38, No. 1 (1st Qtr., 1989), pp. 112–116
  • Abdication and Agrippa Postumus. In: Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 21, No. 4 (4th Qtr., 1972), pp. 674–697
  • The Beginning of Tiberius' Career. In: The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Nov., 1971), pp. 478–486
  • Cicero, Brutus 43. 159 ff., and the Foundation of Narbo Martius. In: The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 21, No. 1 (May, 1971), pp. 170–179


  1. ^ "Weekend birthdays". The Guardian. 21 June 2014. p. 42.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h MITCHELL, STEPHEN (2007). "BARBARA LEVICK AND ASIA MINOR". Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. Supplement (100): xv–xviii.
  3. ^ a b "Dr Barbara Levick". University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  4. ^ Donald Dale Walker (2002). Paul's offer of leniency (2 Cor 10:1): populist ideology and rhetoric in a Pauline letter fragment. Mohr Siebeck. p. 217. ISBN 978-3-16-147891-8. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  5. ^ a b Briscoe, John (March 1969). "Six Augustan Colonies - Barbara Levick: Roman Colonies in Southern Asia Minor. Pp. xvi+256; 2 maps, 6 plates. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967. Cloth, 70s. net". The Classical Review. 19 (1): 86–88. doi:10.1017/S0009840X00328682. ISSN 1464-3561.
  6. ^ Lloyd-Jones, Hugh. "Life Styles of the Rich and Famous". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  7. ^ John F. Donahue (20 January 2001). "Review: B. Levick, Vespasian". Bryn Mawr Classical Review. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  8. ^ Daly, Megan M. (July 2016). "Review of: Claudius. Second edition (first edition 1990). Roman imperial biographies". Bryn Mawr Classical Review. ISSN 1055-7660.
  9. ^ Keegan, Peter (May 2011). "Review of: Augustus: Image and Substance". Bryn Mawr Classical Review. ISSN 1055-7660.
  10. ^ "Barbara Levick | Art UK". Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  11. ^ "PUBLICATIONS OF BARBARA LEVICK". Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. Supplement (100): xix–xxvii. 2007.
  12. ^ "Catiline by Barbara Levick". Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
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But when Gratus, who was one of the soldiers that belonged to the palace, saw him, but did not well know by his countenance who he was, because it was dark, though he could well judge that it was a man who was privately there on some design, he came nearer to him; and when Claudius desired that he would retire, he discovered who he was, and owned him to be Claudius. So he said to his followers, "This is a Germanicus; come on, let us choose him for our emperor."

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Levick is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Barbara Levick (born 1931), English historian and biographer

Derek Levick (1929–2004), English cricketer

Frank Levick (died 1908), English footballer

George Murray Levick (1876–1956), English explorer

Oliver Levick, English professional footballer

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List of biographers

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