P. E. Easterling
|Alma mater||Newnham College, Cambridge|
|Institutions||University of Manchester|
University College London
University of Cambridge
Patricia Elizabeth Easterling, FBA (née Fairfax; born 11 March 1934) is an English classical scholar, recognised as a particular expert on the work of Sophocles. She was Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge from 1994 to 2001. She was the 36th person and the first — and, so far, only — woman to hold the post.
Born in Blackburn, Easterling attended Witton Park High School (originally called Blackburn High School for Girls) before graduating with first class honours and distinction in Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge in 1955. After an initial spell lecturing at the University of Manchester (1957–58), Easterling taught within the Cambridge Classics Faculty as a Fellow of Newnham College until 1987 when she took up the position of Professor of Greek at University College London. In 1987, she also became an Honorary Fellow of Newnham College. She gave the inaugural Housman Lecture at University College London on 14 June 2005.
Easterling was the first woman to chair the Council of University Classical Departments. In 1994, she returned to Cambridge and Newnham as the 36th Regius Professor of Greek, the first (and so far only) woman to hold that post since its endowment by Henry VIII.
In 1998, Easterling was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2013 was made associé étranger de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres at the Institut de France, and Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She was the first Chair of the Management Committee of the Cambridge Greek Lexicon Project, and is a patron of the charity 'Classics for All'.
On 22 January 2000, Easterling received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Languages at Uppsala University, Sweden. She has also been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Athens, Bristol (1999), Royal Holloway (University of London) and Ioannina, and has been an Honorary Fellow of University College London since 1997.
Easterling has been a General Editor of the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics series since its foundation over thirty years ago, and has published an edition within this series of Sophocles’ Trachiniae (1982).