Professor David T. Runia, FAHA

IRCI Honorary Professor

Biblical and Early Christian Studies


BA (Hons), MA, Dip Ed, LittD (UniMelb), DLitt (VU Amsterdam), FAHA

David Runia is a scholar specialising in Classics, Ancient Philosophy and Jewish-Hellenistic and early Christian thought. After receiving his initial training at the University of Melbourne, he completed his doctorate at the Free University, Amsterdam with a study on Philo of Alexandria and the Timaeus of Plato.

From 1991 to 1999 David was C J De Vogel Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Utrecht and from 1992 to 2002 he held the chair of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at Leiden University in the Netherlands. From 2002 to 2016 he was Master of Queen’s College at the University of Melbourne, where he has also been a Professorial Fellow since 2002.

David’s research interests are Philo of Alexandria and Hellenistic Judaism, the Platonist tradition in ancient philosophy and the study of the sources of our knowledge of ancient philosophy with a particular emphasis on the role of ancient doxography. In 2020 he and Jaap Mansfeld published the first critical edition of the Placita of the doxographer Aëtius since the edition of H. Diels in 1879. He has been the editor of The Studia Philonica Annual (SBL Press) since 1989 and is the chief editor of the monograph series Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae (Brill).

David was elected a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1999 and he is a correspondent of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities.

In 2016 a Festschrift was published to celebrate his 65 birthday: Sterling, G. E. (ed.) (2016). Studies in Philo in Honor of David Runia (= The Studia Philonica Annual vol. 28), (SBL Press: Atlanta 2016). It contains a full bibliography of his writings.

Key publications

  • (2020) and J. Mansfeld, Aëtiana V: An Edition of the Reconstructed Text of the Placita with a Commentary and a Collection of Related Texts, 4 volumes, (Brill)

  • (2020) “The Virtue of Hope in the Writings and Thought of Philo of Alexandria.” In The Studia Philonica Annual Volume XXXII: Studies in Honor of Greg Sterling, D. T. Runia and M. B. Cover (eds), (SBL Press), 257–274.

  • (2019) and A.C. Geljon, Philo On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series 5, (Brill).

  • (2018) ‘Epicurus and the Placita’, in Aëtiana IV: Papers of the Melbourne Colloquium on Ancient Doxography, edited by J. Mansfeld and D.T. Runia, Philosophia Antiqua148. Leiden: Brill,  377-432.

  • (2017) ‘From Stoicism to Platonism: The Difficult Case of Philo’s De Providentia I,’ in From Stoicism to Platonism: the Development of Philosophy, 100 BCE to 100 CE, edited by Engberg-Pedersen, T.,159–178. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • (2016)‘Philo in Byzantium: an Exploration’, Vigiliae Christianae 70, 259–281.

  • (2016) ‘Ancient Doxography,’ in Oxford Bibliographies in Classics, edited by Dee Clayman. New York: Oxford University Press

  • (1997-2010) and J. Mansfeld, Aëtiana: The Method and Intellectual Context of a Doxographer, 3 volumes, (Brill).

ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Mailing address

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Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.