Life Fellow                     


Faculty of Classics


Degrees, Awards and Prizes

MA, PhD, DLitt, FBA.

Honorary President of the International Society of Papyrologists.

My book Memphis under the Ptolemies (Princeton 1988; ed. 2, 2012) was awarded the James H. Breasted Prize (1989) of the American Historical Association.

Dorothy J. Thompson

Classics and History

Research and Teaching Interests

Before I retired in 2006, I directed studies in Classics and was a College Lecturer in both Classics and History. In the Faculty of Classics I held the post of Newton Trust Lecturer and lectured mainly in the field of ancient history.

My research interests remain centred on Hellenistic (or Ptolemaic) Egypt, where relations between the native Egyptian inhabitants and the Greek immigrants, who took over control following the conquest by Alexander of Macedon, may be glimpsed from the evidence of the surviving papyri. I've written three books on Ptolemaic Egypt: a village study based on land surveys that survived as the stuffing for the sacred crocodiles of Tebtunis, one on the city of Memphis and, together with a colleague from Leuven, a 2-volume study of the population based on tax registers (Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt). My other publications range widely over social, economic and cultural questions and most are based on papyri.

Since retirement I've been actively involved in the development of the Lawrence Room, our small college museum where the collections of Egyptian and Classical antiquities form the largest sections. Hermione, our portrait mummy, fits well with my own interests in teaching and research.