Dr Bettany Hughes has devoted her time to ancient history and culture. An award-winning historian, she has written and presented several historical and philosophical television and radio documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic, Discovery, BBC World and ITV.
These include two superb programme on Greek history ‘A Greek Island Odessey’ and Roman History ‘Secrets of Pompeii’s Greatest Treasures’
Some of her presenting credits include; The Ideas That Make Us (BBC, 2016) Pompeii Live and Vikings Live – educational pieces for the British Museum, Genius of the Ancient World (Buddha, Socrates, Confucius) (BBC4, 2015) and Genius of the Modern World (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud) (BBC4,2016).
As an author, Dr Bettany’s first book Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore has been translated into ten languages. Her second publication, The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Writer’s Guild Award.
She is also a successful scholar. Over the last decade, Bettany has been researching the history of Istanbul for her 2017 publication.
She has taught at both Oxford and Cambridge University and at Cornell, Bristol, UCL, Maastricht, Utrecht and Manchester. She is a Tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education and a Research Fellow of King’s College London and joined the New College of the Humanities as Visiting Professor.
Below: Cultural Protection Fund – Bettany Hughes meets Syrian refugees becoming conservators of the future
Over her career, Dr, Bettany has received numerous awards and recognition for her work in the field. These include; the Naomi Sargent Education Prize for Broadcast Excellence, a Special Award for her services to Hellenic Culture and Heritage, an Honorary Fellow of the Historical Association, an Honorary Doctorate by York University, the International Fem 21 Award for journalism and the Distinguished Friend of Oxford Award.
Bettany is also a founding patron of Classics For All – a national campaign to promote the study of classical languages and civilisations in state schools and a long-standing patron and supporter of the educational and campaigning charity, The Iris Project.
She is Vice President of the Churches Conservation Trust and of the National Churches Trust. She was an advisor to the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation which promotes large-scale collaborative projects between East and West.
Bettany co-produced a seven-part global documentary series about the shared roots of Eastern and Western culture, which premiered at UNESCO in 2013.
She is also a member of the Women of the World Committee, is a judge for English Heritage Angel Awards, The Art Fund’s Museum of the Year Award and is a reader on the Queen’s Anniversary Prize.
She regularly judges for the RTS and Grierson Awards and frequently contributes to national newspapers.
It’s not often that a speaker on Socrates holds her own with consumer gurus and political pundits. But in the lecture series in which she spoke at Cornell this year, Bettany Hughes proved every bit as popular as those who spoke on more contemporary subjects. Hughes’ talk was enthralling, professional, and deeply humanistic. Not only did she hold a crowd of 150 students spellbound, but — in the highest compliment of all — they stayed for the question period afterwards. Students vote with their feet! And, from what they told me afterwards, they felt like stomping out their approval.
Bettany was both erudite and witty, effortlessly creating vivid parallels between the ancient world of Sparta and the modern-day cut and thrust of commercial enterprise.”
Alex Kanellis – Chief Executive PZ Cussons
I was delighted that Bettany Hughes accepted to take part in a panel discussion on the public intellectual, in ancient Athens and today, hosted by the Royal Society under the aegis of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University. She thrilled the audience and panellists alike. I particularly valued her views on how anxious, litigious and frightened the ancient Athenians often were, even while they affirmed the value of rational debate and public scrutiny.
Prof. Graziosi, Institute of Advanced Study