You are here

John McTavish

Graduate Student

John McTavish

Educational Background

  • MPhil, Classics, University of Queensland, Australia, 2018
  • BA (Hons), Ancient History, University of Queensland, Australia, 2015



I am an ancient historian whose work focuses on Greco-Macedonian political and military history during the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods. My research interests include issues of chronology, historiography, imperialism, and monarchy, but I am most passionate about the wars of the Diadochi. In the classroom I strive to put Mediterranean and Near Eastern history in dialogue with one another by incorporating Achaemenid, Seleucid and Parthian sources into the mainstream literary and material record, encouraging my students to view the ancient world as encompassing far more than just Greece and Rome. Before coming to Cornell I studied and taught under the supervision of Dr. Amelia Brown and Dr. Andrew Collins at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.


Hellenistic period, Diadochi, Kingship, Imperialism, Seleucids


  • History
  • Classics

Graduate Fields

  • Greek history
  • Roman history


  • Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies
  • Association of Ancient Historians


Most of my work deals with the kingship and campaigns of the Diadochi. I have presented numerous papers on the lives and careers of both Demetrius Poliorcetes and Seleucus Nicator, and am currently writing an article on Seleucid & Roman leadership and ideology during the Roman-Seleucid war. Going forward, I plan to continue writing about the politics of the Hellenistic period, with particular points of interest being the ancient Near East during the Seleucid era as well as the Greek state of Epirus during the early 3rd century BCE.

Committee: Barry Strauss (ancient Greek history), Eric Rebillard (ancient Roman history)


  • "A New Chronology for Seleucus Nicator's Wars from 311–308 BCE." Accepted and forthcoming in Phoenix.