About Barry Strauss

Bestselling author Barry Strauss is a classicist and a military and naval historian and consultant. He is a recognized authority on leadership and the lessons that can be learned from the experiences of the greatest political and military leaders of the ancient world, among them, Caesar, Hannibal, and Alexander.

Strauss is the Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies at Cornell University, where he is the former Chair of the Department of History as well as Professor of History and Classics. He is also the Corliss Page Dean Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Series Editor of Princeton’s Turning Points in Ancient History. He also served as Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale and a B.A. from Cornell.

Professor Strauss has spent years researching and studying the leaders of the ancient world and has written and spoken widely of their mistakes and successes. He is also a widely acclaimed military and naval historian whose analyses of the strategies and campaigns of some of history’s great commanders reveal the successful rules of engagement that were true on the battlefield and resonate in today’s boardrooms and executive suites.

In recognition of his scholarship, he received Italy’s Lucio Colletti Journalism Prize for literature and he was named an Honorary Citizen of Salamis, Greece. Professor Strauss is a well-known television personality with appearances on The History Channel, Netflix, CNN, PBS and The Discovery Channel. He is the host of the popular podcast, "ANTIQUITAS: Leaders and Legends of the Ancient World," which is accessible on most platforms.

Professor Strauss is the author of ten books on ancient history which have been translated into twenty languages.

His latest book, The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium (Simon & Schuster, March 2022) was a #1 amazon bestseller. Reviewers called it “splendid” (The Wall Street Journal), “a masterfully woven history” (Real Clear Politics), “both profoundly learned and highly readable” (National Review), “a gripping account” (Publishers Weekly), “engaging” (The New York Sun) and “this may be his best book in a distinguished career’ (First Things). The book was an Editor’s Pick: History at amazon.com and was named to four best books of the year lists.

Photograph © Oliviero Olivieri

Recent Scholarship

Salamis and Actium: Lessons from Two Decisive Ancient Battles in Greek Waters,” in Nicholas Kyriazis and Emmanouil M.L. Economou, eds. Salamis and Democracy 2500 Years After. Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany, Springer Verlag, forthcoming 2022.

The Punic Wars,” in David Berkey, ed. Disruptive Strategies: The Military Campaigns of Ascendant Powers and their Rivals. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2021, 43-66.

Duality, Determinism and Demography: The Greeks on Geopolitics,” in Kurt Almqvist, and Alexander Linklater, eds. The return of geopolitics : a global quest for the right side of historyStockholm, Sweden: Bokförlaget Stolpe Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit, 2021, 61-72.

Sextus Pompeius and the Strategy and Tactics of Ancient Sea Power.” In Laura Kersten and Christian Wendt, eds. Rector Maris: Sextus Pompeius und das Meer. Bonn, Germany: Habelt, 2020, 121-140.

Three Modern Navalist Thinkers and Antiquity,” in Kopp, Hans, and Christian Wendt. Thalassokratographie: Rezeption Und Transformation Antiker Seeherrschaft. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018, 221-232.

The War for Empire: Rome vs. Carthage,” in James Lacey, ed. Great Strategic Rivalries: From the Classical World to the Cold War. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016) 81-102.

The Classical Greek Polis and Its Government,” in Hans Beck, ed., The Blackwell Companion to Classical Greek Government (Oxford: Blackwell), 22-37.

Slave Wars of Greece and Rome,” in Victor Davis Hanson, ed., Makers of Ancient StrategyFrom the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome. Princeton University Press:  2010, 185-205.

Sparta’s Maritime Moment,” in Andrew S. Erickson, Lyle J. Goldstein, and Carnes Lord, eds., China Goes to Sea: Maritime Transformation in Comparative Historical Perspective. Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute Press: 2009, 33-62.

Athens as Hamlet: The Irresolute Empire,” in David Edward Tabachnik and Toivo Koivukoski, eds., Enduring Empire: Ancient Lessons for Global Politics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press: 2009, 215-226.

Military Education: Models from Antiquity,” Academic Questions 21 (2008): 52-61.

Chapter 4: Combat: (b) Naval Battle and Sieges,” in P. Sabin, H. van Wees, and M. Whitby, eds. The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare. Volume I: Greece, the Hellenistic World, and the Rise of Rome. Cambridge University Press: 2007, 223-247.

Media Appearances

2019, The Roman Empire, Season 3 [Caligula], Netflix

2018, The Roman Empire, Season 2 [Julius Caesar], Netflix

2016, Barbarians Rising, History Channel

2010, When Rome Ruled: ‘Secrets of the Gladiators’, National Geographic Channel

2010, When Rome Ruled: ‘Killing Caesar’, National Geographic Channel

2009, Clash of the Gods, History Channel

2008, The Secret Life of Gladiators, Discovery Channel

2007, Athens: The Dawn of Democracy, PBS

2006, Where Did It Come From? Ancient Ships, History Channel

2006, Engineering an Empire: the Greeks and Engineering an Empire: Alexander, History Channel

2006, The Real Spartacus, National Geographic Channel

2005, Hannibal, National Geographic Channel

2004, Alexander and the Battle of Gaugamela (Great Battles); Real Gladiators, Discovery Channel

2004, Who Killed Alexander?

2003, Assassination of Julius Caesar, Discovery Channel

2003, Spear of Jesus, Discovery Channel

2002, Unconventional Warfare, History Channel

2002, The Rise and Fall of Sparta, History Channel

2002, Debates, Debates PBS

2000, The Greeks, PBS

Barry Strauss © 2024