James Murray

Professor Emeritus

Classics and Ancient History

Carleton Hall 235



Research interests

  • Plato and the Sophists
  • Archaeology of the Academy
  • Social and Intellectual History in Athens of the 4th and 5th centuries BC
  • Early Christianity

Current projects

  • “Searching for the Ancient Academy in Athens”
  • “The Structure of John’s Visions in the Apocalypse


An alumnus of UNB (BA 1974; MA 1976), Dr. Murray returned to the Department of Classics and Ancient History as a faculty member in September 1984, after completing his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. In his first year at UNB he was invited to lecture in the common course for Arts students—ARTS 1000—and he enjoyed the task over the following two decades.

During these years, he also developed a series of new courses in the Classics program: Ancient Science, Women in Ancient Greece, The Early Church, etc. He led the faculty’s first Travel Study Program (to Greece in 1990) and has continued to lead both student and alumni trips to Greece, Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean (the most recent was a student trip to Greece in May 2016). In 1996, he was awarded the university’s highest award for teaching, the Allan P. Stuart Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Murray has been very active at UNB Fredericton as an academic administrator. He was Chair of the Department of Classics and Ancient History from 1990 to 2003 and again from 2013 to 2016. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 2005 to 2013. Beyond the University, Dr. Murray co-founded the Atlantic Classical Association in 1986, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute in Greece from 2007 to 2009 and served as President of the Classical Association of Canada from 2006 to 2008.


Courses regularly taught

  • Ancient Greek at all levels
  • CLAS 3703: Socrates and the Intellectual World of Classical Athens
  • CLAS 3723: Ancient Science
  • CLAS 3803: The World of Jesus
  • CLAS 3813: The Early Church

Selected publications

Edited books

“What's Cooking”: A Festschrift in Celebration of the Seventy-fifth Birthday of Mary Ella Milham. (ed. with Introduction) Fredericton, 1997.

“Through Him Who Strengthens Me”: Selected Shorter Writings and Sermons of Stuart Eldon Murray. (ed. with Introduction) Baptist Heritage in Atlantic Canada: Documents and Studies, Volume XI. Hantsport, N.S., 1990.


“Enchanted by the Search: “Post-war Efforts’ in the Search for Plato’s Academy (1955-1963).” Mouseion (forthcoming).

Searching for Plato’s Academy, 1929-1940.” Mouseion 6 (2006) 219-256.

“Urban Earthquake Imagery and Divine Judgement in John’s Apocalypse.” Novum Testamentum 47 (2005) 142-161.

“Plato on Power, Moral Responsibility and the Alleged Neutrality of Gorgias’ Rhetoric (Gorgias 456c-457b).” Philosophy and Rhetoric 34 (2001) 355-363.

“Interpreting Plato on Sophistic Claims and the Provenance of the Socratic Method." Phoenix 48 (1994) 115-134.

“The Alleged Prohibition of Abortion in the Hippocratic Oath.” Classical Views 35, n.s. 10 (1991) 293-311.

“Plato’s Psychology of Rhetoric: Phaedrus 270d-272b.” Echos du Monde Classique 34, n.s. 9 (1990) 17-26.

“Plato on Knowledge, Persuasion and the Art of Rhetoric: Gorgias 452e-455a.” Ancient Philosophy 8 (1988) 1-10.

Book chapters

“Continuing to Map the Road to the Academy,” in D. Rupp and J. Tomlinson, (eds.). Meditations on the Diversity of the Built Environment in the Aegean Basin and Beyond: Proceedings of a Colloquium in Memory of Frederick E. Winter. Athens, 22-23 June 2012. Publication of the Canadian Institute in Greece, No. 8. Athens, 2014.

Book reviews

A Review of Plato’s Wayward Path: Literary Form and the Republic by David Schur. Hellenic Studies 66, Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press, 2014. New England Classical Journal.

A Review of Prudes, Perverts and Tyrants: Plato’s Gorgias and the Politics of Shame by Christiana H. Tarnopolsky. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010). Mouseion 10 (2010) 451-453.

A Review of A Companion to Plato, edited by H. H. Benson. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006, Classical Review 58.1 (2008) 56-58.

A Review of On Site: Canadian Archaeologists in Greece, Athens, Motibo, 2005, Mouseion 6 (2006) 272-274.

A Review of Reason and Religion in Socratic Philosophy, edited by N. D. Smith and P. B. Woodruff. Oxford University Press, 2000. Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2002.04.10)