Nicholas F. Jones

  • Professor
  • (Retired Fall 2020)


Department of Classics
1501 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh


I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  After earning a BA in Philosophy at USC while simultaneously studying ancient Greek, I changed fields when entering graduate study at the University of California in Berkeley where I took the MA in Greek and the PhD in Classics. At Berkeley, I studied under historians in both the Classics and History departments before embarking to Greece to spend two academic years at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.  Accompanied by my Berkeley Classicist wife Marilyn Morgan Jones, I traveled throughout Greece with the ASCS, was recruited for one season of excavation at Nemea with the UCB team, took a side trip to Turkey, and made progress on my dissertation.  Returning to the US to take up a faculty position in Pittsburgh, I have taught a wide range of courses in Greek, Latin, and Classical civilization, including the lecture courses I created in mythology, gender studies, athletics, and law & society.  My published research is mostly confined to ancient Greek history and in particular to the institutions, society, and culture of Classical and Hellenistic Athens.  Recently I completed editions, translations, and commentaries on 37 historical writers on Athens for Brill’s New Jacoby, the new online edition of Felix Jacoby’s monumental Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, while I continue on at BNJ as one of a dozen editors. Along the way, I was supported by fellowships from the Fulbright Program (for study in Greece), the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities—the last held while a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.  Spring 2005 I was Hyde Fellow in Classics at the University of Pennsylvania.  At present, I am in the preliminary stages of exploring the place of Classics in the life and writings of Henry David Thoreau and the other American transcendentalists.

With my retirement at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, I continue to pursue my research remotely in my home office and library at our long-time home in the North Hills suburbs of Pittsburgh. Brill has undertaken a second edition of the New Jacoby, and I am kept busy with the revision of my entries. Meanwhile, my lifelong interest in the writings, life, and times of Thoreau occupies my attention on several fronts.

Education & Training

  • University of California, Berkeley, PhD Classics, 1975
  • University of California, Berkeley, MA Greek, 1972
  • University of Southern California, BA Philosophy, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1968
  • American School of Classical Studies, Athens, regular and associate member, 1973-1975
  • American Numismatic Society, New York City, graduate seminar participant, summer 1977


  • Benjamin Wall Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 1972-1973
  • Fulbright Fellowship, Greece, 1973-1974
  • Eugene Vanderpool Fellowship, American School of Classical Studies, 1974-1975
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship for Recent Recipients of PhD, Spring 1979
  • NEH Fellowship for Independent Study and Research, 1984-1985
  • Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, visitor, 1984-1985
  • Hyde Fellow in Classics, University of Pennsylvania, Spring 2005

Representative Publications

Public Organization in Ancient Greece: a Documentary Study, Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 176, Philadelphia 1987

Ancient Greece: State and Society, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall 1997

The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to Democracy, New York:  Oxford University Press 1999

Rural Athens Under the Democracy, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press 2004

Politics and Society in Ancient Greece, Praeger Series in the Ancient World, Westport, Conn. and London: Praeger 2008

Brill’s New Jacoby, a revised and expanded edition of Felix Jacoby's Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker.  Edition, translation, and commentary on 37 writers on ancient Athens.

"Perses, Work 'in Season,' and the Purpose of Hesiod's Works and Days," Classical Journal 79 (1984) 307-323

"Pliny the Younger's Vesuvius Letters (6.16 and 6.20)," Classical World 95 (2001) 31-48

Research Interests

Ancient Greek history, Greek political and social history, Greek historiography, reception of Classics by Henry David Thoreau and American transcendentalists

Research Category