49: Miletos, with Prof. Vanessa Gorman

Miletos, with Prof. Vanessa Gorman

The Greek city of Miletos in western Anatolia would be described by Herodotus as being the ornament of Ionia. This referring to the affluence of the city during the Archaic period and its position amongst the many other Greek cities in Ionia. In this episode I am joined by Prof. Vanessa Gorman who takes us through the history of this wealthy and influential city. We begin by covering the earliest periods of history around the site of Miletus, which leads us into the Bronze Age and the various connections the city had. We then look at the period of the Bronze Age collapse in the region and the period afterward that would see the arrival of the Greeks from mainland Greece. We then look at a city that would become one of the most affluent within the Greek world during the Archaic period. Before we then turn to the decline of Miletus on the backdrop of the subjugation to the Lydian and then the Persian Empire. We then finish off with a bit of an overview of the city after the Greek and Persian Wars before then ending with a look at an open-source language course developed by Prof. Gorman.  

Prof. Vanessa Gorman received her PhD in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in May 1993. Since then, she has held various position as associate professor and associate dean, where in 2015 she became Professor of the Department of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a position she currently still holds. In 2021 she also took on a position in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Prof. Gorman’s areas of expertise lay within the areas of Greek History and Historiography; Greek Language Pedagogy; Philology and Dependency Syntax and Digital Humanities. While she also focuses on Republican and Augustan Roman History and Roman Historiography.

For Prof. Gorman, language was a huge part of her journey into understanding the ancient world to where she would become proficient in reading Ancient Greek, Latin, German, Italian and French. Her realisation of the importance of language also saw Prof. Gorman create an open-source course available to all called Reading Ancient Greek in the Digital Age.

Links to Prof. Gorman’s work:

Greek Lanuage Site:


Digital Publications:

Greek Dependency Treebanks:






Edited Volumes:



 “Dependency Treebanks of Ancient Greek Prose.” Journal of Open Humanities Data 6 (2020):1. DOI: https://openhumanitiesdata.metajnl.com/articles/10.5334/johd.13/

Approaching Questions of Text Reuse in Ancient Greek Using Computational Syntactic Stylometry.” Co-authored with Robert J. Gorman. Open Linguistics 2 (2016): 500-510.

Truphē and Hybris in the Peri Biōn Of Clearchus.”  Co-authored with Robert J. Gorman. Philologus 154 (2010): 186-206.

The Truphē of the Sybarites: A Historiographical Problem in Athenaeus.” Co-authored with Robert Gorman. Journal of Hellenic Studies 127 (2007): 38-60.

Milesian Decrees of Isopoliteia and the Refoundation of the City, ca. 479 BCE.” In Oikistes: Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World. Offered in Honor of A. J. Graham, eds. Vanessa B. Gorman and Eric Robinson (Leiden 2002) 181-93.

Lucan’s Epic Aristeia and the Hero of the Bellum Civile.Classical Journal 96 (2001) 263-90.

‘The Tyrants around Thoas and Damasenor’ (Plut. Q. G. 32.298c-d).” Co-authored by Robert J. Gorman. Classical Quarterly 50 (2000) 526-30.

Vergilian Models for the Characterization of Scylla in the Ciris.” Vergilius 41 (1995) 35-48.

Aristotle’s Hippodamos (Politics 2.1267b22-30).”  Historia 44 (1995) 385-95.

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