University of Calgary

Noreen Humble

  • Professor

Research Interests

My research centres around the Athenian historian and philosopher Xenophon (c. 430-355 BC). My dissertation dealt generally with his view of Sparta, arguing that contrary to the traditional view he is quite critical of the Spartans across the whole body of his works. Because Xenophon was such a prolific writer in many genres there are many different routes one can take to exploring his work. One of these which I have followed is connected with the literary genres of encomia and biography (Xenophon’s Anabasis is at least on one level an autobiographical work and he wrote an encomium for a Spartan king). An interest in the biographical writings of Plutarch has also come out of my work on Xenophon and Sparta because Plutarch is extremely important for our understanding of ancient Sparta through, particularly, his Life of Lycurgus. On a wider stage I also work on the reception of Xenophon and Plutarch in Byzantium and in the Renaissance and Reformation. Both authors were held in considerable esteem among the elite educated until around the 19th century and I am interested in exploring how and why many of the entrenched notions we hold about them took hold particularly upon their re-reception in the West.

Curriculum Vitae


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