John Traill

Professor Emeritus
LI 122C



John Traill is an instructor in CLA201H, Latin and Greek in Scientific Terminology, and in recent years has also taught the undergraduate Research Opportunities Course, CLA299Y, Biographies of Ancient Athenians.

Traill is a graduate of the University of Toronto in Honours Classics (1961), and holds the AM and PhD degrees from Harvard University (1962 and 1967). He has spent 2 years as a post-doctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1970-72) and 8 years at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

He has published 26 books, the most recent appearing in June 2021, and has served as editor or co-editor of an additional 5 volumes.  The main topics of his research have been Greek inscriptions, the topography of Athens and Attica, and especially the prosopography of ancient Athens. For more than 4 decades he has directed the ATHENIANS Project, a research venture applying modern electronic technology to ancient data. In recent years the Project has been a member of the BRAIN (Big Data Research and Analytics Information Networking) Alliance, a consortium of scholars in computing science in the four major universities in the Toronto area, and in this context ATHENIANS' research has involved large-scale computing, data mining, geomatics, information networking, and data visualization.

Based originally at Victoria College and the Computer Systems Research Group (later Institute) using a database management system supplied by EMPRESS Software and later supported by the Centre for Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) supervised by D. F. Derkach, the ATHENIANS Project is now located in the Department of Classics.

Through the expertise of Philippa Matheson, who has served ATHENIANS from the early digital transformation, the website Attica has been created. All the original data have been converted to Unicode with the full range of epigraphical sigla for the texts and a bilingual search form which makes accessible information pertaining to 100,000 ancient Athenians has been implemented at The website also contains an online interactive map of the Military and Political Organization of Attica and Tables of information which summarize Traill's most recent research on the demes, trittyes, and phylai and their organization. 

Professor Traill was honoured with an Epigraphical and Topographical Symposium held at the Epigraphical Museum in Athens on April 28-29, 2023. The program, along with the Introduction in Greek and a translation into English, may be found here.


PhD, Harvard University