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Robin Lane Fox

Robin Lane Fox
Robin Lane Fox at Financial Times 125th Anniversary Party, London, in June 2013
Born Robin James Lane Fox
(1946-10-05) 5 October 1946
Nationality British
Alma mater Eton
Magdalen College, Oxford
Occupation Educator, author
Known for Historian of classical antiquity

Robin James Lane Fox, FRSL (born 5 October 1946[1]) is an English classicist, ancient historian and gardening writer known for his works on Alexander the Great.[2] Lane Fox is an Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford and Reader in Ancient History, University of Oxford. Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at New College from 1977 to 2014, he serves as Garden Master and as Extraordinary Lecturer in Ancient History for both New and Exeter Colleges. He has also taught Greek and Latin literature and early Islamic history.[3][4]

His major publications, for which he has won literary prizes including the James Tait Black Award,[5] the Duff Cooper Prize,[6] the W.H. Heinemann Award[7] and the Runciman Award,[8] include studies of Alexander the Great and Ancient Macedon, Late Antiquity, Christianity and Paganism,[9] the Bible and history, and the Greek Dark Ages.


  • Career 1
  • Family 2
  • Selected publications 3
  • References 4


Lane Fox was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, of which he was a Fellow 1970–73.[1] Like his fellow historians Paul Cartledge and Alan Cameron, and philosophers Terence Irwin and John McDowell,[10] he was an undergraduate student of G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, whom he succeeded at New College in 1977 after a lectureship and Fellowship at Worcester College, Oxford.[1][11]

Other important influences on his contributions to the study of ancient history include

  1. ^ a b c Debrett's People of TodayRobin Lane Fox profile at
  2. ^ The IndependentReview of Lane Fox in
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Lane Fox profile at the Tait Black website
  6. ^ Lane Fox profile at the Duff Cooper Prize website
  7. ^
  8. ^ Profile of Lane Fox at the Runciman Award winners webpage of the Anglo-Hellenic League
  9. ^ Pagani e cristianiRobin Lane Fox, , a detailed review in Italian of Robin Lane Fox's Pagans and christians.
  10. ^ Ste Croix, The Origins of the Peloponnesian War, xii
  11. ^ The Independent in Traveling HeroesReview of Lane Fox's
  12. ^ Pagans and Christians, p. 10
  13. ^ a b c Pagans and Christians, p. 8
  14. ^ The Unauthorized Version, p. 9
  15. ^ a b Travelling Heroes, xiii
  16. ^ Travelling Heroes, p. xiv
  17. ^ "Into Battle With Alexander", The Times, 4 May 2004.
  18. ^ "Why the lowly shepherd is the one who gets to hear the angels", 20 December 2011, The Telegraph
  19. ^ Profile in The Spectator
  20. ^ Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes, BBC Four, BBC, UK.
  21. ^ "Gnomes spark row over fairies at Chelsea", The Independent
  22. ^ The TelegraphHenry Lane Fox profile in


  • Alexander the Great (London: Allen Lane, 1973, and New York: E.P. Dutton, 1974, ISBN 978-99934-40-04-8) (awarded James Tait Black Memorial Prize)
  • The Search for Alexander (London: Viking, 1981, ISBN 978-0-7139-1395-8)
  • Pagans and Christians: In the Mediterranean World from the Second Century AD to the Conversion of Constantine (London: Viking, 1986, ISBN 978-0-670-80848-9; Penguin Books Ltd re-issue, 2006, ISBN 978-0-14-102295-6)
  • Better Gardening (London: David R. Godine Publ., 1986, ISBN 978-0-87923-611-3)
  • The Unauthorised Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible (1991; new edition, Penguin Books, 2006, ISBN 978-0-14-102296-3)
  • The Making of "Alexander": The Official Guide to the Epic Alexander Film (London: R & L (Lane Fox), 2004, ISBN 978-0-9511392-1-9)
  • The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian (London: Allen Lane, 2005, ISBN 978-0-7139-9853-5)
  • Page, Russell, The Education of a Gardener (New York Review of Books reprint, 2007), preface by Robin Lane Fox
  • Travelling Heroes: Greeks and Their Myths in the Epic Age of Homer (London: Allen Lane, 2008, ISBN 978-0-7139-9980-8)

Selected publications

He is the father of entrepreneur Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, who co-founded, and Henry Lane Fox, CEO of The Browser website.[22]


Lane Fox is the gardening correspondent of the Financial Times and an outspoken opponent of garden gnomes.[21]

He wrote and presented Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes, which was first broadcast on BBC Four at 9:00pm on 15 November 2010.[20]

He was historical advisor to the film director Oliver Stone for the epic Alexander. His appearance as an extra in cavalry manoeuvres, in addition to his work as a historical consultant, was publicised at the time of the film's release.[17][18][19]


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