Department of History
The University of Houston
524 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3003
(713) 743-3083

Faculty and Staff

Frank Lee Holt
Professor

Frank Lee Holt
  • Phone: (713) 743-3127
  • Email: fholt@uh.edu
  • Office: 536 Agnes Arnold Hall

Dr. Holt (MA, PhD University of Virginia) is one of the world’s leading authorities on Alexander the Great, Hellenistic Asia, and new research methodologies such as Cognitive Numismatics. He has published seven books and over sixty articles in journals such as Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik and Ancient Macedonia. His research has been featured on The History Channel and has frequently been cited in such places as National Geographic, Smithsonian, BBC Current Affairs, and The New Republic; one of his books provides a plot twist in the New York Times best-selling novel The Venetian Betrayal. In addition to his large body of academic work, Holt is also a prolific writer for the public, with essays appearing in Newsweek, American Scientist, Archaeology, History Today, Archaeology Odyssey, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Saudi Aramco World, and other widely read publications. A popular speaker, Dr. Holt has lectured worldwide for academic and general audiences.

Teaching

Dr. Holt has twice received the University Teaching Excellence Award, as well as the CLASS Master Teacher Award and numerous other classroom honors. In 2011 he was awarded the university’s first Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Holt’s undergraduate and graduate courses include The Study of Early Civilizations, Greek History, Roman History, Alexander the Great, Hellenistic History, and Numismatics.

back to top

Research Interests

Dr. Holt has devoted much of his career to two great frontiers, one of subject matter and the other of methodology. In subject matter, his work pushes far beyond the familiar centers of classical culture such as Athens and Rome to explore the vigorous multi-cultural edges of ancient civilizations in places such as Afghanistan. He has achieved this by developing innovative numismatic methodologies, now called the new frontier of Ancient Studies, to write histories where traditional literary sources do not survive. This research has earned several awards, including the Aristotle Prize and the Craddock prize. His eighth book, under contract with Oxford University Press, is being researched and written as an Onassis Senior Visiting Scholar.

back to top

Recent Books:

  • Lost World of the Golden King: In Search of Ancient Afghanistan (University of California Press, 2012).

  • Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan (University of California Press, 2005; new ed. 2012).

  • The Alexander Medallion: Exploring the Origins of a Unique Artefact (Imago Lattara, 2011).

  • Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions (University of California Press, 2003).