Dr. Bettany Hughes

Bettany Hughes at Great British Speakers
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. 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.

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.
What the Clients Say:
Bettany is brilliant at communicating her passion for, and knowledge of, the subject. She chaired our discussion at the Lyttelton Theatre with great ease, charm and warmth, skilfully encouraging him to examine the surprising relationship between Greek tragedy and Greek vase-paintings to the uninitiated but enthralled audience.- Sarah Mowat, Platforms Department, National Theatre
Bettany Hughes takes her audience on an instant journey to the ancient world, from Persia to Greece and Rome. She has the brilliant and engaging ability to connect the history of those civilisations and individuals with science and contemporary philosophy and culture, using technology to bring the story to life and making sense of it all for a captivated audience.- Director of Historic Houses Association
Bettany is an absolutely magnetic speaker. Our all-female audience were entranced and inspired by her wit and scholarship. She brought ancient civilisations alive and made the enigmatic and unknown Helen of Troy feel real, immediate and relevant to us.- The Kit-Kat Club

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