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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Barry Strauss

Barry Strauss, the Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies in the Department of History at Cornell, is a military historian and classicist. Greece and Rome are his focus within the ancient world, and his main interests as a military historian are battle and strategy.

Barry has written acclaimed books on such subjects as Athens after the Peloponnesian War and on Spartacus. His books have been translated into ten languages. Three of his last four books have been named on best-books-of-the-year lists (by the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Books and Culture).

Barry’s most recent book, Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership (2012), won praise from Kirkus Reviews: "Strauss sharpens our image of three brilliant commanders and makes military history great fun." Kirkus called his The Spartacus War (2009) "graphic, adrenaline-pumping history." Other recent titles include The Trojan War: A New History (2006) and The Battle of Salamis (2004).

Educated in history at Cornell (BA ’74) and Yale (PhD ’79), Barry studied archaeology at the American School at Athens as a Heinrich Schliemann Fellow (1978-79). He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Korea Foundation, and the American Academy in Rome. In recognition of his scholarship, he was named an honorary citizen of Salamis, Greece. He is currently writing a book on the death of Caesar that focuses on the third assassin, the one overlooked by Shakespeare.