Mr William Coles

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Personal profile

Research Interests 

  • Greek epigraphy
  • Greek historiography
  • Late Classical and Hellenistic history
  • Oratory and rhetoric 

Doctoral Research

My AHRC funded doctoral thesis explores the rhetorical strategies of Greek envoys in the Hellenistic Period. The project focuses on the following research questions:

  • Are the envoys' speeches in Polybios mainly a product of a generic convention established in the Classical Period by earlier historiographers such as Herodotos, Thucydides and Xenophon? Or do they reflect an attempt to represent oratory as it was practised in Polybios’ own day in the Hellenistic period?
  • In what ways do the hundreds of Hellenistic inscriptions containing summaries of ambassadors’ oratory contribute to our knowledge of envoy speeches in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC? Of particular interest will be the question of how far the summaries of speeches complement or contradict the evidence of Polybios.


  • CL1550: Greek History and the City State (2019/20)
  • CL1580: Introduction to Greek Archaeology (2018/19 and 2019/20)


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