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Robert B. Kebric

Robert Kebric

Professor Robert B. Kebric

Kebric is Senior Professor of History and has been at the University of Louisville since 1973.  His major fields of interest are Ancient Greek and Roman History and Historiography, Ancient Culture, and the Olympic Games (Ancient and Modern).  He also teaches and/or has published on History in Film, Humor in Ancient/Medieval History, History of the Future, Aging in the Ancient World, and Nineteenth Century Australia. 


He received his B.A. from the University of Southern California in 1968 (Phi Beta Kappa); and his M.A. (1971) and Ph.D. (1972) from Binghamton University (formerly The State University of New York at Binghamton).  He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.   His books and monographs include, In the Shadow of Macedon:  Duris of Samos (Historia Einzelschriften: Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1977); The Paintings in the Cnidian Lesche at Delphi and their Historical Context (Polygnotus of Thasos) (Leiden:  E.J. Brill, 1983); Greek People (New York: McGraw-Hill, 4th edition, 2005); and Roman People (New York:  McGraw-Hill, 4th edition, 2005).  His works on Duris and Polygnotus are cited as major sources under their entries in the Oxford Classical Dictionary, the standard single volume scholarly reference for Classical History.  Greek People and Roman People have been used nationally and internationally for over two decades, and are among the first such volumes from the West to be translated into Chinese (2013) by Beijing International Publishing Company for distribution in China.  Professor Kebric served as historical consultant for Time-Life’s volume, When Rome Ruled the World (Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1997), much of whose content was based on Roman People.   His closing presentation at a conference (the only scholar invited from outside Europe) organized around his Duris monograph at L’École normale supérieure (University of Paris), is included in De Samos à Rome: personnalité et influence de Douris (Paris: Presses de l’université Paris Ouest, 2014).


Professor Kebric has published numerous articles and notes in Classical Philology, Latomus, Historia, Mnemosyne, American Journal of Archaeology, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, The Gerontologist, Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities (electronic), and other journals.   His original observations on the rowing of a Greek trireme have been incorporated into the Trireme Exhibit at the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.


Kebric has presented papers at eleven international conferences since 2005 in Athens, Paris, London, and Honolulu.


Professor Kebric’s photos have been used in publications of McGraw-Hill, Greenhaven Press, and forty-seven photos were published in the seven volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece & Rome (2010), in which he also contributed articles on “Atlantis,” “Aspasia,” and “Timoleon.”


Professor Kebric has attended seven Olympic Games over the last three decades, the last at London in 2012.  He has been a frequent visitor to the site of the ancient Olympics at Olympia, Greece, and to the stadium in Athens, where the first modern Games were held in 1896.  He has been to the sites of almost all thirty modern summer Olympics.  He is an Honorary Member of the Much Wenlock Olympian Society in England, where the earliest revival of the Olympic Games took place in 1850.  He has written articles and presented papers on the Olympics at international conferences, and attended the most recent conference at Oxford University following the London Olympics.  He presented an Olympic Exhibit entitled, Selections from the Kebric Olympic Collection, at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville that ran during the London Olympics and received local, regional, national-- and international attention for it from England while the Olympics were in progress.   Professor Kebric also presented an exhibit of his photographic work at the Hite Institute Gallery during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


Professor Kebric has been a consultant to presses, T.V. and news services (including Reuters and National Public Radio), international conferences, and individual writers for books, newspapers, and magazines-- the most recent during the 2012 Olympics when he was consulted while in London on the Ancient Olympics for Slate Magazine, published by the Washington Post.   He also recently participated (2012) in a full revision of a major Western Civilization textbook for St. Martin’s Press.  He was Consulting Editor for Greenhaven Press’ Encyclopedias of Ancient Greece and Mesopotamia (2007).  Greenhaven’s Encyclopedia of Ancient Rome was dedicated to him.


In other areas, Professor Kebric contributed fourteen entries, including the main article on the “German Navy,” in the first major Encyclopedia of World War II, published by Simon and Schuster (1978).  His interest in naval history has taken him to the decks (or remains) of many historic ships.   He also brought the last survivor of the German battleship, Bismarck, to campus to speak, and contributed to a British obituary about Ted Briggs (d. 2008), the last survivor of the Hood, sunk by the Bismarck in 1941.  He is also acquainted with a survivor of the Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7, and has met crewmembers of the Enola Gay (most now deceased).  


Kebric served as the History Department’s first Vice-Chair (1977-1979).   He has directed and lectured in University travel programs to Greece, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, and Israel.


Professor Kebric lives with his wife, Judith, and three Basenjis.  As a member of the Pacific Whale Foundation (Maui), he has “adopted” the white whale, Migaloo, and is often “with the whales” in the waters off Maui.  He has written on nineteenth century whaling in the Pacific. 

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