Steve has published numerous books on various aspects of Classical antiquity, and also edited a dictionary of Classical mythology:

Very Short Introductions for Curious Young Minds: Ancient Myths, Legends and Superheroes: and How they Live on Today, Dr Stephen Kershaw, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2023.

The Harvest of War. Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis: The Epic Battles That Saved Democracy. Stephen P. Kershaw, Pegasus, New York, 2022.

Three Epic Battles That Saved Democracy: Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis, Stephen P. Kershaw, Robinson, London, 2022.

Greek Myths and Legends: Tales of Heroes, Gods & Monsters. Reading List & Glossary of Terms, with a New Introduction by DR. STEVE KERSHAW, Flame Tree Publishing, London, 2022.

Mythologica, Steve Kershaw, illustrated by Victoria Topping, Wide Eyed Editions, London, 2019.

Barbarians: Rebellion and Resistance to the Roman Empire, Stephen P. Kershaw, Robinson, London, 2019.

A Brief History of Atlantis: Plato’s Ideal State, Stephen P. Kershaw. Robinson, London, 2017.

A Brief History of the Roman Empire, Stephen Kershaw. Robinson, London 2013.

A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization, Stephen Kershaw. Robinson, London, 2010. (Published in the USA as A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization, Stephen Kershaw, Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, 2010.)

A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths, Stephen P. Kershaw. Robinson, London, 2007. (Published in the USA as A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths, Stephen P. Kershaw. Caroll & Graf, New York, 2007.)

The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology, P. Grimal, edited by Stephen Kershaw from the translation by A.R. Maxwell-Hyslop. Penguin, London, 1991.

A Concise Dictionary of Classical Mythology, P. Grimal, edited by Stephen Kershaw from the translation by A.R. Maxwell-Hyslop. Basil Blackwell Ltd., Oxford, 1990.


Oxford, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2023. ISBN 978-0-19-278289-2

Ancient Myths, Legends and Superheroes introduces a global selection of the stories we tell to make sense the world, where people came from, and why they think the way they do. With the help of comic strips, photographs, and illustrations, it interprets the wondrous characters and fantastic tales and reveals the everlasting power of storytelling. 


New York, Pegasus, 2023. ISBN 9781639362349


London, Robinson, 2022. ISBN 9781472145673. £30

Kershaw has written an impressive and timely book that reminds us that the principles of freedom and democracy are powerful motivators in war.

The Times

One of the great virtues of Kershaw's book is the detailed knowledge he brings to bear on the war at sea. The description of the decisive naval battle of Salamis is superbly done.

Mail on Sunday
A riveting and heroic story, told with tremendous verve and splashes of colour, and still grimly relevant in today’s world of tyrants and despots, empire-builders and doughty freedom-fighters
The Daily Mail
In his thoroughly researched, engagingly written “The Harvest of War,” Stephen Kershaw is critical of the good-versus-evil approach. That said, his accounts of those battles do indeed bring across their “epic” importance and explain their surprising outcomes. The author of numerous books and an instructor at Oxford, Mr. Kershaw is one of those rare creatures who combine expertise in the classical world with narrative flair. Beyond his skill in historical research, Mr. Kershaw brings to his tale a gift for poetic accent very much in the ancient Greek style.
The Wall Street Journal
On his tombstone Aeschylus had imprinted his own name, his father’s name, his city, and the fact that he had a witness to his valor in the groves of Marathon. Kershaw’s vivid account gives a sense of what Aeschylus and his fellow Greeks had to be so proud of.
The New Criterion
A timely account of a hugely important episode in world history, and Kershaw has written it with flair. With the siege of Mariupol recently being described as ‘Ukraine’s Thermopylae’ by an advisor to President Zelensky, the Greco-Persian Wars remain as relevant as ever and with Three Epic Battles the author has brought them to life in this vibrant re-telling.

Aspects of History

Oxford University classics scholar Kershaw (The Enemies of Rome) explores in this detailed and wide-ranging history the immediate and long-term impacts of the Persian Wars in ancient Greece. This is a rich and accessible study of a pivotal turning point in world history.

Publisher's Weekly

A fine study of a turning point in ancient history. A skilled scholar and dedicated historical researcher, Kershaw is at his best describing ancient politics and culture, and the confusing battle accounts are not his fault. Half a dozen ancient historians mention them, but their details are contradictory and impressionistic—and all from the Greek point of view. Many modern writers edit them into a comprehensible story, but Kershaw admits that the specifics are gone forever.


London, Flame Tree Publishing, 2022. ISBN 9781839648878. £10.99

Gorgeous Collector's Edition. From the birth of Zeus to Prometheus, Pandora and Helen of Troy, Odysseus and Jason and the Argonauts, the myths of the Greeks and, later, the Romans, are passionate and powerfully told. The Gods are jealous of each other's powers, subject to mighty outbursts of love and always seeking vengeance. The dark forces of the ancient world were held at bay by the resourceful and emerging civilization that formed the basis of Western culture, providing a tradition of fabulous tales that are retold here.


London: Wide Eyed Editions, 2019. ISBN: 9781786031921. £20

Best Children’s non-fiction book of 2019 (

Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award, 2019

The Guardian, Book of the Month {Children}, 28/9/19

For seven and up, Mythologica (Wide Eyed) is a glorious oversized compendium of Greek myths by Stephen Kershaw, a classics professor whose text strikes a satisfying balance between concision and nuance. Victoria Topping’s gold-leaf-and-collage illustrations evoke all the ferocity, beauty and fascination of Kershaw’s gods, heroes and beasts.

The Guardian, 28 September 2019

An illustrated encyclopedia of characters from Greek mythology, broken down into three key categories. Uncover the lives of 50 powerful gods and goddess, earth-dwelling mortals and terrifying monsters as we journey back in time to ancient Greece. From the fearless Athena and her meddlesome ways to the brave and bold Odysseus and his remarkable journey home, this is the perfect introduction to 50 of the most exciting characters of ancient Greek Mythology. Featuring full colour artwork from the brilliantly talented Victoria Topping and written by Dr Stephen Kershaw, prepare to be amazed as you uncover the epic, heroic and sometimes terrible lives of mortals, monsters and gods.

"The fantastical images could come straight from 1960s album covers, mixing reality and symbolism, with a diversity of skin colors and some hint at gender fluidity—it’s definitely a mythology collection for a new generation. A visually over-the-top paean to stories that still resonate today."

Kirkus Review


“This guide to Greek mythology combines accessible facts with amazing visuals for a truly amazing read. The artwork really is the star of this stunning book, showing full poster-page sized Greek gods and mythical humans in vibrant colours, collage, diverse representations and a thoroughly modern sensibility.”


Mythologica has been translated into Greek, Italian, Croatian, Russian, and Spanish.


London: Robinson, 2019.ISBN: 9781472142108.Hardback £25.00

A fresh new look at the Roman Empire, from the point of view of those regarded by the Romans as 'barbarians'. Kershaw builds a narrative around the lives, personalities, successes and failures both of the key opponents of Rome's rise and dominance, and of the those who ultimately brought the empire down.

Entertaining and illuminating
The Wall Street Journal

A superb alternate look at Roman history
The New York Journal of Books

Readers interested in the classics will find this satisfying
Publishers Weekly

Ancient Rome faced many threats from outsiders, so-called barbarians. Relying upon a combination of sources - literature, mythology, and history - Kershaw painstakingly chronicles them all in this often-grisly account of an empire under siege

An interesting take on Roman history focused on the peoples that resisted its growth and eventually brought about its destruction.
Kirkus Reviews


London: Robinson, 2017. ISBN: 9781472136992

A new translation of two of Plato's dialogues, Timaios and Kritias, with commentary and critical discussion including an exploration of how the tale of Atlantis has been interpreted throughout history. The Atlantis story remains one of the most haunting and enigmatic tales from antiquity, and one that still resonates very deeply with the modern imagination. But where did Atlantis come from, what was it like, and where did it go to?
Atlantis has been adapted to countless ideologies and agendas over time, serving the needs of every sort of reader - "harmless hippies or Heinrich Himmler", in Mr Kershaw's memorable phrase . . . Mr Kershaw closes this chilling chapter [on 'the white-supremacist thread in the Atlantis story'] with a quote from Hannah Arendt suggesting the larger importance of his topic. "The ideal subject of totalitarian rule," Arendt wrote, is "people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction . . . and the distinction between true and false . . . no longer exist." The tortured moves that Mr. Kershaw documents, by which the Atlantis myth has been recast as fact and willfully misread, remind us of how vital such distinctions are for a society striving to stay free. 

James Romm, Wall Street Journal

Hero looking after her human's Turkish edition of Atlantis


London: Robinson, 2013. ISBN: 9781780330488. £9.99

The epic story of the rise and fall of the greatest empire the world has ever known.

This concise yet compelling narrative history of the Rom,an Empire covers 500 years, from its rise in 27 BC to the barbarian incursions and the fall of Rome in AD 476. It draws on a wide range of primary sources, from contemporary writers to recent archaeological finds, which often reveal day-to-day life in fascinating detail.

Classics scholar Stephen P. Kershaw identifies the seismic events in Rome's rise and fall and provides wonderful portraits of its larger-than-life personalities - gladiators and charioteers, senators and slaves, wise and supremely dysfunctional emperors, fascinating women. He puts in context the might of Rome's armies and detail the bizarre sexual practices and grotesque brutalities that were the trademarks of this extraordinary empire.


London: Robinson, 2010

An accessible and comprehensive introduction to Classical history, myth and the ancient world.

A general introduction to the classical world from its origins to the fall of the Roman Empire.

The book focuses on questions of how we know about Classical civilization from archaeology and history; deals with the Mycenaean era and the world of Myth and Epic in Homer's Iliad &; Odyssey; gives an outline of Greek history in the 5th &; 4th Centuries BC; looks at Greek social life and the alternative model of Sparta, and considers the achievements of the Greeks in their art and architecture, tragedy and comedy.

Turning to Rome, it engages with Roman history, the Roman Epic tradition, the fascinating features of Roman social life, analyses Roman satire, explores the urban environment in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and concludes with the End of Rome. 

Publishers' sales points:

Action-packed, reader-friendly history of the Greeks and Romans without the boring bits. Explains how the Greeks and Romans set out the foundations of our contemporary world from science and architecture to the writing on the dollar bill. Stephen Kershaw is the author of A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths which has sold [well over] 5,000 copies. Strong cross-market appeal to student and general-interest readership, especially travellers/tourists.


London: Robinson, 2007

A uniquely authoritative yet lightly handled examination of the key tales in the corpus of Greek mythology.
The book leads the reader through these vibrant stories, from the origins of the gods through to the homecomings of the Trojan heroes. All the familiar narratives are here, along with some less familiar characters and motifs. In addition to the tales, the book explains key issues arising from the narratives, and discusses the myths and their wider relevance.

This long-overdue book crystallises three key areas of interest: the nature of the tales; the stories themselves; and how they have and might be interpreted. For the first time, it brings together aspects of Greek mythology only usually available in disparate forms namely childrens books and academic works. There will be much here that is interesting, surprising, and strange as well as familiar. Experts and non-experts, adults, students and schoolchildren alike will gain entertainment and insight from this fascinating and important volume.

'Eminently sane, highly informative, and reasonably priced' (Paul Cartledge, BBC History Magazine)

A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths was published in Russian translation: Путеводителъ По Греческой Мифологии, Стевен П. Кершоу. АСТ, Москва, 2010.


Pierre Grimal. Editor - Stephen Kershaw. Translator - A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop

London: Penguin, 1991. Still on sale in the Naples Archaeological Museum…

A good understanding of mythology can greatly enhance our appreciation of ancient art and literature, not to mention the work of many later painters and writers. Drawing on every stage of classical mythology - from Achilles and Aphrodite to Jupiter and Juno - this acclaimed dictionary is ideal for both quick reference and more in-depth reading, and will delight anyone who loves dipping into the marvellous stories of the ancient world.

• Contains the standard versions (and significant variants) of the myths about the heroes and heroines of Homer's Odyssey and Iliad and other Greek classical works, placing them within their literary context

• Describes the Olympian gods and goddesses (in their Greek and Roman guises), their adventures, disputes and erotic entanglements

• Covers the Roman legends and foundation stories which haunted Virgil's imagination: Dido, Aeneas, Rhea Silvia, Romulus and Remus

• Includes comprehensive cross-referencing and geneaological tables which show the complex links between different characters and myths.

Brilliantly distils and captures the essence of Greek and Roman mythology. It is the ideal reference tool for anyone with an interest in the Classics or those seeking to explore the many allusions to its mythology that abound in later literature.,,9780140512359,00.html#


Pierre Grimal (Author), Stephen Kershaw (Editor)

Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990

"The Concise Dictionary of Classical Mythology" is a distillation into brief form of the single source dictionary of ancient Greek and Roman myths and legends. In keeping with Grimal's original dictionary, first published in 1951 in France the concise version covers virtually all major characters, and eight genaeological tables present the principal complex relationships between gods and men. The entries concentrate on principal versions of each legend, and only the most significant variations are covered, in order to focus on the common core of classical literature. Brief definitions are cross referenced to short accounts of the main legends.