• Vita

    Hans Beck studied at the universities of Canterbury and Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he received his PhD in 1996. He then worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Cologne, where he completed his habilitation in Ancient History in 2003. In 2005, he was hired to the position of John MacNaughton Chair of Classics and Professor of Ancient History at McGill University in Montreal, where he served as Director of Classical Studies from 2007 to 2016. Since 2018, he is Professor of Greek History at the University of Münster. His research interests lie in the periods of Archaic and Classical Greece and the Roman Republic, focusing on designs of polis governance and federalism, historical topography, dynamics between localism and 'globalization' in Greece and the political culture of the Roman republic.

  • Research Project

    Political Orders in Ancient Greece

    The political ecology of ancient Greece was determined by a multiplicity of locally coded entities, city-states with small territories, manageable populations, and limited economic opportunities. Scholars have therefore long diagnosed the atomization of the Greek world. It is no longer disputed today that this basic constellation not only encourages decentralized approaches, but makes them imperative. In the course of the local turn, however, a new sensitivity for the conceptual foundations of fragmentation has emerged. In this vein of exploration, it its argued that discourses around unifying notions of Hellenism and prioritizations of the local were not diametrically opposed. Rather, it is an inbuilt trait of Greek history that unity and pluralism were reciprocally and causally intertwined.

    My research project explores local forms of organization in ancient Greece; in addition to religion and politics, local legal systems are of central importance. The project also aims to clarify the relationship between local legal spaces on the one hand and their common frame of reference on the other. Even more so than the Roman legal tradition, Greek law offers a prime example to fuel transhistorical debates about legal-cultural unity and local diversity.

  • Selected Publications

    Beck, Hans/Kindt, Julia (eds.), The Local Horizon of Ancient Greek Religion, Cambridge 2022.

    Beck, Hans, Localism and the Ancient Greek City-State, Chicago 2020.

    Beck, Hans/Funke, Peter (eds.), Federalism in Greek Antiquity, Cambridge 2015.

    Beck, Hans, Ethnic Identity and Integration in Boiotia. The Evidence of the Inscriptions (6th and 5th century BCE), in: Papazarkadas, Nikolaos (ed.), The Epigraphy and History of Boeotia. New Finds, New Prospects, Leiden 2014, pp. 19-44.

    Beck, Hans (ed.), A Companion to Ancient Greek Government, Malden/Oxford 2013.