Classicist, historian and novelist Philip Freeman brings a remarkable gift as a storyteller and an ability to make the ancient world contemporary through his interpretation and translation of events and great works. Currently the Fletcher Jones Chair of Western Culture, Dr. Freeman earned a joint Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1994 in classics and Celtic studies. He has taught at Boston University, Washington University in St. Louis, and was the Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College in Iowa. He has been a visiting fellow at the American Academy in Rome, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C., and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, and the Lilly Foundation.
Philip Freeman is the author of a number of books on ancient and medieval studies, including biographies of St. Patrick, Julius Caesar, and Sappho, as well as translations of the works of Cicero. Praising his biography of Alexander the Great (Simon & Schuster 2010), Wall Street Journal declared: “Mr. Freeman’s ambition, he tells us in his introduction, was ‘to write a biography of Alexander that is first and foremost a story.’ It is one he splendidly fulfills.”
Dr. Freeman has been interviewed on All Things Considered, MSNBC, as well as many local NPR shows. His books have been reviewed in the Wall St. Journal, Slate, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Times, among others. His latest nonfiction book, Searching for Sappho: The Lost Songs and World of the First Woman Poet, was published by W.W. Norton in 2015. More recently, Dr. Freeman has proven a natural as a historical novelist. St. Brigid’s Bones, Sacrifice and The Gospel of Mary are Celtic mysteries (Pegasus), set in the early days of Christianity in Ireland, and feature a young nun, Sister Deirdre, who proves to be a charming detective.