(Examining the Victory Monument of Augustus at Nicopolis)
Nikos Kokkinos was born in Alexandria in 1955 of Greek parentage. His early education in Egypt and Greece included both Semitic and European languages. The multiracial and cosmopolitan environment in which he was brought up, provided him with an important basis for understanding many aspects of the not too disimilar Ptolemaic and Graeco-Roman culture, to the study of which he devoted himself.
After moving permanently to England, he took an Honours BA degree in Roman Archaeology at London (1987), and a D.Phil. in Ancient History at Oxford (1992/3), where he became ‘Dorothea Gray Senior Scholar’ at St. Hugh’s College. For field experience he was led to excavations in Israel, Jordan, Syria and Turkey, and for museum research to the rich collections in Athens, Rome, Paris and London. For some time he was appointed ‘Honorary Research Fellow’ at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL.
Nikos' doctoral dissertation The Herodian Dynasty, written in the Ashmolean Library under the supervision of the distinguished Professor Fergus Millar, was long preceded by a popular book The Enigma of Jesus the Galilaean (1980), which became temporarily a Greek bestseller, and by his study of Antonia Augusta (1992), a development of his undergraduate work. His contribution to Chronos, Kairos, Christos (1989) has succeeded in converting many scholars to his dating of the Crucifixion, while he was a member of a team of ancient historians and archaeologists which took academia by storm with their worldwidely publicised theory of Centuries of Darkness (1991). He has also written various articles on coins, inscriptions and other subjects, in learned journals, and has given numerous lectures and seminars to universities and societies on both sides of the Atlantic. He further became a principal co-organiser of three international conferences on the Herods, ever to be held in the UK - the first in the British Museum (2001), the second in the University College London (2005), and the third in Spink and Son Ltd. (2010).
Nikos Kokkinos lives in London with his wife and three children and he is Wingate Scholar and Research Fellow at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London.
(Filming the so-called 'Throne of Pelops' on Mount Sipylus in Turkey - for this expedition in Peter James' project with the BBC, please go to: Tantalis)