B.A. Cambridge, 1952; M.A. 1956; Ph.D., 1957; Cromer Greek Prize, British Academy, 1956; Hare Prize, Cambridge, 1960; NEH Fellow, 1981-82.
Asst. lectr., U. London, 1955-57; asst. lectr. to sr. lectr., U. Manchester, 1957-77; prof. classical studies, U. Pennsylvania, 1977-95; external examiner ancient history, University of Leeds, Cambridge University, University of Liverpool. 1970-77; sr. fell., Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, 1989-94.
"The Relations between Greek Colonies and Their Mother Colonies" (Cambridge, 1957).
“The Salamis Decree (SEG X,1),” PCA 53 (1956) 28-29; “The Date of the Greek Penetration of the Black Sea,” BICS 5 (1958) 25-42; “The Authenticity of the ὅρκιον τῶν οἰκιστήρων of Cyrene,” JHS 80 (1960) 94-111; “Corinthian Colonies and Thucydides' Terminology,” Historia 11 (1962) 246-252; “The Fifth Century Cleruchy on Lemnos,” Historia 12 (1963) 127-128; “Οικήιοι Περίνθιοι,” JHS 84 (1964) 73-75; Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1964). REVS: RSC XII 1964 349-350 d'Agostino | MH XXII 1965 249 Von der Mühll | AC XXXIV 1965 653 Loicq-Berger | BO XXII 1965 197-198 Den Boer | Athenaeum XLIII 1965 463-465 Levi | CJ LX 1965 374 Bradeen | CR XV 1965 327-329 Hammond | CW LVIII 1965 240 & 254 McGregor | StudClas VIII 1966 363-364 Alexandrescu | REG LXXVIII 1965 653-657 Will | REA LXVIII 1966 162-163 Bourriot | RSI LXXVIII 1966 228-231 Asheri | RFIC XCIV 1966 350-353 Susini | AAHG XIX 1966 214-218 Gschnitzer | JHS LXXXVI 1966 242-245 Jeffery | CPh LXI 196 | Aevum XLI 1967 572 | AJPh LXXXVIII 1967 108-110 Roebuck | Mnemosyne XXI 1968 439-440 Janssen | Gymnasium LXXVI 1969 554-556 Schmitthenner; V. Ehrenberg, Polis und Imperium. Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte, ed. K.F. Stroheker & Graham (Zürich: Artemis-Verlag, 1965); “The Division of Britain,” JRS 56 (1966) 92-107; “Dating Archaic Greek Inscriptions,” Acta of the Vth Internat. Congr. of Greek and Latin Epigraphy (Oxford: Blackwell, 1971) 9-17; “An Attic Country House below the Cave of Pan at Vari,” with J.E. Jones & L.H. Sackett,” ABSA 68 (1973) 355-452; “Septimius Severus and His Generals, A. D. 193-7, in War and Society. Historical Essays in Honour and Memory of J. R. Western (1928-1971), ed. M.R.D. Foot (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973) 255-275, 336-345; “The Limitations of Prosopography in Roman Imperial History with Special Reference to the Severan Period,” II,1,” ANRW II,1 (1974) 136-157; “Beehives from Ancient Greece,” Bee World 56 (1975) 64-75; “The Numbers at Lugdunum,” Historia 27 (1978) 625-630; “The Foundation of Thasos,” ABSA 73 (1978) 61-98; “The Vari House. An Addendum,” ABSA 83 (1978) 99-101; “Religion, Women and Greek Colonization,” CRDAC 11 (1980-1981) 294-314; “On the Great List of Theoroi at Thasos,” AncW 5 (1982) 103-121; “A New Slogan for Oligarchy in Thucydides III.82.8,” with G. Forsythe, HSCP 88 (1984) 25-45; “Beehives of the Ancient World,” Bee World 66 (1985) 23-41, 148-170; “Commercial Interchanges between Greeks and Natives,’ AncW 10 (1984) 3-10; “The Historical Interpretation of Al Mina,” DHA 12 (1986) 51-65; “Megara Hyblaca and the Sicels,” Les associations ethno-politiques locales de la région pontique aux viie-ive s. av. n.è. Actes du ive Colloque pansoviétique d'histoire antique de la région pontique, Tskhaltubo-Vani, 1985, ed. O. Lordkipanidze (Tbilisi: Mecniereba, 1988) 304-321; “An Ellipse in the Thasian Decree about Deletion (ML 83),” with R. Alden Smith, AJP 110 (1989) 405-412; “Pre-Colonial Contacts: Questions and Problems,” in Greek Colonists and Native Populations: Proceedings of the First Australian Congress of Classical Archaeology Held in Honour of Emeritus Professor A.D. Trendall Sydney 9-14, July 1985, ed. Jean-Paul Descoeudres (Canberra: Humanities Research Centre; New York: Oxford University Press, 1990) 45-60; “ ‘Adopted Teians’: a Passage in the New Inscription of Public Imprecations from Teos.” JHS 111 (1991) 176-178; “Thucydides 7.13.2 and the Crews of Athenian Triremes,” TAPA 122 (1992) 257-270; “Abdera and Teos,” JHS 112 (1992) 44-73; “A Dedication from the Chersonese at Olympia,” in Nomodeiktes: Greek Studies in Honor of Martin Ostwald, ed. Ralph M. Rosen & Joseph Farrell (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993) 331-338; “The Odyssey, History, and Women,” in The Distaff Side: Representing the Female in Homer's Odyssey, ed. Beth Cohen (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995) 3-16; “Themistocles' Speech before Salamis: The Interpretation of Herodotus 8.83.1,” CQ n.s. 46,2 (1996) 321-327; “Thucydides 7.13.2 and Crews of Athenian Triremes: An Addendum,” TAPA 128 (1998) 89-114; “The Woman at the Window: Observations on the ‘Stele from the Harbour’ of Thasos,” JHS 118 (1998) 22-40; “Thasos: The Topography of the Ancient City,” ABSA 95 (2000) 301-327; “N. G. L. Hammond, 1907-2001,” AJA 105,3 (2001) 517-518; Collected Papers on Greek Colonization, Mnemosyne Supplementum 214 (Leiden: Brill, 2001). REVS: AC 2002 71 : 431-433 Laurence Mercuri; “The Colonization of Samothrace,” Hesperia 71,3 (2002) 231-260.
Graham began his foray into classical studies under the tutelage of Victor Ehrenberg and John Burtt at Bootham School, the Quaker boarding school in York, in his native England. He served in the National Service and then attended King’s College, Cambridge, where he earned a BA with Distinction in Ancient History in 1952, winning the Richards Prize. In 1953 he studied at the University of Munich and later at the British School at Athens before earning his MA (1956) and PhD (1957) under Frank Adcock at Cambridge. His dissertation was awarded the Hare Prize from Cambridge, and he received the Cromer Greek Prize from the British Academy for his JHS article of 1960. After a brief stint at the University of London, followed by two decades at the University of Manchester, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania, where he remained until his retirement in 1995.
Graham is most celebrated for his pioneering work on the history of Greek colonization, which includes Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece, dozens of succinct and careful articles in the most-prestigious international journals, and his magisterial essays in the Cambridge Ancient History (second edition). Yet his versatility reveals itself in his articles on Philip, the Severans, and even ancient beekeeping, as well as in the breadth of topics pursued by his many doctoral students at the University of Pennsylvania. His work is conspicuous for its consistent exactitude and shrewdness, especially when dealing with inscriptions. He accepted well-proven ideas, but did not hesitate to challenge a traditional interpretation if the contrary evidence was persuasive. One of his telling characteristics as a scholar is that, rather than publish extensively in edited volumes, he preferred to submit his articles to journals, where they were subject to the referee process individually and were thus forced to stand on their own merits.
To his many students, Graham was the model for how to do ancient history: learned, patient, inspiring, and kind. He taught philology: the exact reading of the text and due diligence with the evidence. A facile argument might be greeted with his telling sidelong glance and the understated suggestion, “There may be more to it than that.” Yet he was not beyond mischievously baiting a class of fresh graduate students with the comment, “You probably know more about this than I,” and then casting about with a sparkle in his eye to see if anyone dared to bite. Those scholars who learned from him spend the remainder of their careers holding him up as the measure of their own work, wondering always, would John Graham be persuaded?
Festschrift: Oikistes. Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World, Offered in Honor of A.J. Graham, ed. Vanessa Gorman & Eric W. Robinson, Bibliotheca Classica Batava (Leiden: Brill, 2002). DAS 10 (2001) 102.
AUTHORVanessa B. Gorman