Richard Buxton

Richard Buxton is a classical scholar specialising in the study of ancient Greek mythology and literature.  Born in Mansfield, England, he went to school in Nottingham, and to university as an undergraduate and graduate student at King’s College, Cambridge.

After taking his doctorate at King’s (having researched for a period also in Paris), he moved to the University of Bristol, first as Lecturer and subsequently as Professor of Greek Language and Literature.

Now Emeritus Professor, he continues actively to research, write and broadcast.

View Swedish television interview

Richard is committed to bringing knowledge about and enthusiasm for classical antiquity, especially its mythology, to as wide an audience as possible.  His work has appeared in fourteen languages. In all his writings, but especially in Imaginary Greece – translated into five languages – and in the best-selling The Complete World of Greek Mythology – translated into twelve languages – he aims, not to ‘dumb down’ the ancient stories, but, by using accessible and jargon-free language, to bring home to modern readers the creative power and imaginative influence of ancient myths.

Recent activity

Runciman Prize

Richard’s book The Greek Myths that Shape the Way we Think (Thames & Hudson, 2022) was shortlisted for the 2023 Runciman Prize.

Times Radio  interview, 25th March 2022

Richard in conversation with Michael Portillo about The Greek Myths that Shape the Way we Think.

Charlie Chaplin and the art of metamorphosis

With reference to his book: Forms of Astonishment, read Richard’s recent piece on Charlie Chaplin for the Oxford University Press blog.

Charlie Chaplin was certainly the greatest mime, probably the greatest actor, and arguably the greatest artist in any medium in the twentieth century. As self-transformations go, his personal rags-to riches story is hard to match. But the theme of metamorphosis also permeates his movies.

Cyclopes in Greek Mythology

Listen to Richard and Mercedes Aguirre discuss Cyclopes in Greek Mythology, and their book Cyclops: The Myth and its Cultural History on the Ithaca Bound Podcast, 4th June 2021.