About Barry Strauss


arry Strauss is a classicist and a military and naval historian and consultant. He is Professor of History and Classics, Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies at Cornell University, the visiting Corliss Dean Page Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Series Editor of Princeton’s Turning Points in Ancient History, and an author of bestselling books.

Professor Strauss 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 (Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander among many others).

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.

He is a former Chair of Cornell's Department of History as well as a former Director of Cornell’s Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, where he studied modern engagements from Bosnia to Iraq and from Afghanistan to Europe. He also served as Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is an expert on military strategy. He is currently director as well as a founder of Cornell’s Program on Freedom and Free Societies, which investigates challenges to constitutional liberty at home and abroad. He holds fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Korea Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the American Academy in Rome, among others and is the recipient of Cornell’s Clark (now Russell) Award for Excellence in Teaching. In recognition of his scholarship, he received the Lucio Colletti Journalism Prize for literature and he was named an Honorary Citizen of Salamis, Greece. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale and a B.A. from Cornell.

Professor Strauss is the author of nine books on ancient history. His Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece—and Western Civilization was named one of the best books of 2004 by the Washington Post. His Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership was named one of the best books of 2012 by Bloomberg. His The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination, (Simon & Schuster, March 2015) has been hailed as “clear and compelling” by TIME, “brilliant” by the Wall Street Journal, “engrossing, exhaustive yet surprisingly easy to read” by Barrons, and “an absolutely marvelous read” by The Times of London.

His bestselling Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustine to Constantine (Simon & Schuster, March 2019) was called "an exceptionally accessible history of the Roman Empire ... much of Ten Caesars reads like a script for Games of Thrones (Wall Street Journal), "enlightening," (New York Times), "an excellent and eminently readable introduction," (New Criterion), "a history page-turner which brings to life Rome's rulers," (National Geographic), and "a captivating narrative," (Publisher's Weekly). The book was named to five best book lists of the year.

Professor Strauss's books have been translated into nineteen languages. He is also the author of over 60 scholarly articles and reviews.

Professor Strauss is a well-known television personality with appearances on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, CNN, PBS, and Netflix. He is the host of the popular podcast, "ANTIQUITAS: Leaders and Legends of the Ancient World," which is accessible on most platforms.

In March 2022, he will publish his latest book, The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium (Simon & Schuster), available for pre-order now.


Photograph © Oliviero Olivieri