F. W. Walbank

Frank William Walbank ( born December 10, 1909 in Bingley, West Yorkshire, † 23 October 2008 in Cambridge ) was a British classical scholar and historian.


Walbank visited 1928-1931 Peterhouse College, Cambridge, where he studied Classical Studies and Historical Sciences.

In 1932, he first worked as a teacher in Manchester, before being appointed in 1934 as a lecturer at the University of Liverpool. There he first held lectures and seminars and finally received in 1946 a professor of Latin philology. In 1951 he accepted a position at the Department of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at the same faculty, a position he held until his retirement in 1977. He also worked as Guest Professor in Pittsburgh (1964 ), Oxford ( 1964-1965 ) and Berkeley (1971). He was a member of the British Academy and an honorary doctorate of the University of Exeter.

Frank W. Walbank was married in 1935 to Mary Fox ( † 1987) and had three children with her.


A particular focus of studies Walbanks represents the work of the Greek historian Polybius, the Walbank devoted several studies. In 1957 he published the first of three volumes of meticulously developed, historical commentary on Polybius, with whom he considered one of the leading experts Polybius made ​​a name worldwide. Upon publication of the second volume in 1973, the Times called the Opus one of the greatest scientific achievements of a generation of British scholars.

His other important writings include studies on the fall of the Roman Empire ( The Awful Revolution), Aratus of Sicyon, King Philip V of Macedonia and the World of Hellenism. 1984 Walbank also acted as the main editor of two volumes of the renowned four ten-volume Cambridge Ancient History (The Hellenistic World / The Rise of Rome to 220 BC and Rome and the Mediterranean to 133 BC ).

While Walbanks works are whether their salary in the professional world in high esteem, his style and the style of language is sometimes criticized that already requires great knowledge in the respective topic and interested lay only slightly opens.


  • Aratus of Sicyon. Cambridge University Press, 1933.
  • Philip V of Macedon. Cambridge University Press, 1939.
  • The Decline of the Roman Empire in the West. Cobbett Press, 1946.
  • A Historical Commentary on Polybius, 3 vols Clarendon Press, Oxford from 1957 to 1979.
  • The Awful Revolution: The Decline of the Roman Empire in the West. University Press, Liverpool 1968.
  • The Hellenistic World. Harvester Press, Brighton 1981. Dt. Edition under the title The Hellenistic world. dtv, Munich 1983.
  • A History of Macedonia. 3 vols Oxford 1988.
  • Polybius, Rome and the Hellenistic world. Cambridge 2002.