Classical Studies Faculty Database
Classical Studies
Arts & Sciences
Duke University

 HOME > Arts & Sciences > Classical Studies > Faculty    Search Help Login pdf version printable version 

William Johnson, Professor

William Johnson

William A. Johnson works broadly in the cultural history of Greece and Rome, with particular interest in ancient books, readers, and reading, and with a general interest in how literary pursuits intersect with cultural context in antiquity.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  236 Allen Building, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 684-2082
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Office Hours:

Office hours only appointment, on Zoom

Ph.D.Yale University1992
M.A. in Greek LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill1981
BA in English Literature & Latin LiteratureOberlin College1978
Research Interests:

Greek historiography; Greek and Roman literature and cultural history; ancient books and readers; ancient music; literary papyri


Athens (Greece)--Intellectual life • Books and reading • Libraries • Literature and society • manuscripts, greek (papyri) • Manuscripts, Greek (papyri) • Music, Greek and Roman • Readers • Second Sophistic movement

Curriculum Vitae  Bio
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Johnson, W, Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome, edited by Johnson, WA; Parker, H (2009), pp. 1-448, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199793983 [doi]  [abs] [author's comments]
  2. Johnson, WA, Bookrolls and scribes in oxyrhynchus (January, 2003), pp. 1-414, University of Toronto Press, ISBN 9781442626416  [abs] [author's comments]
  3. Johnson, WA, The Oxyrhynchus Distributions in America: Papyri and Ethics, Basp (2012)
  4. Johnson, WA, Libraries and Reading Culture in the High Empire, in Ancient Libraries, edited by Woolf, G (2013), Cambridge University Press
  5. Johnson, WA, Pliny Epistle. 9.36 and Demosthenes' Cave, Classical World, vol. 106 no. 4 (2013), pp. 665-668  [abs]
  6. Johnson, WA, Cicero and Tyrannio: Mens addita videtur meis aedibus (ad Atticum iv.8.2), Classical World, vol. 105 no. 4 (2012), pp. 471-477 [doi]  [abs]
  7. Johnson, WA, Teaching the Children How to Read: The Syllabary, Classical Journal, vol. 103 no. 4 (2010), pp. 445-463, Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Inc (CAMWS) [doi]
  8. Johnson, WA, The Ancient Book, in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, edited by Bagnall, R (2009), Oxford University Press
  9. Johnson, WA, Hesiod's Theogony: Reading the Proem as a Priamel, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, vol. 46 no. 3 (2008), pp. 231-235
  10. Johnson, WA, The Posidippus Papyrus: Bookroll and Reader, in The New Posidippus: A Hellenistic Poetry Book, edited by Gutzwiller, K (2005), Oxford University Press
  11. Johnson, WA, Reading cultures and education, in Reading Between the Lines: New Perspectives on Foreign Language Literacies, edited by Patrikis, P (2002), Yale University Press
  12. Johnson, WA, New instrumental music from Graeco-Roman Egypt, Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, vol. 37 (2000), pp. 17-36 (Appeared 2001.)
  13. Johnson, WA, Musical Evenings in the Early Empire: New Evidence from a Greek Papyrus with Musical Notation, Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 120 (2000), pp. 57-85, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [doi]  [abs]
  14. Johnson, WA, Toward a sociology of reading in classical antiquity, American Journal of Philology, vol. 121 (2000), pp. 593-627 (Appeared 2001. Winner of the 2000 Gildersleeve Prize..)
  15. Johnson, WA, Dramatic Frame and Philosophic Idea in Plato, The American Journal of Philology, vol. 119 (1998), pp. 577-598
  16. Johnson, WA, Oral Performance and the Composition of Herodotus' Histories, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, vol. 35 (1994), pp. 229-254 (appeared Fall 1995.)
Conferences Organized

  • AAH Panel, "The History of Books and Reading in Greco-Roman Antiquity", May, 2012  
  • Semple Symposium, Constructing Literacy among the Greeks and Romans, Organizer, April, 2006  
  • APA panel on "Classics, Computers, and Pedagogy, Organizer, December, 1996  
  • APA panel on "Classics and the Internet", Organizer, December, 1995  

Duke University * Arts & Sciences * Classical Studies * Faculty * Scholars * Staff * Grad * Reload * Login