I am a Member of Common Room at Wolfson College, Oxford (2007-). I am also a member of the College's Ancient World Research Cluster. Previously I was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson (2004-7). I am also a Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, and Project Officer for the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project at King’s College London.
My principal area of research is Ancient philosophy, but I am equally interested in its later influence and have wide interests in Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern philosophy. In particular I have written about the Stoic idea of philosophy as an art of living, inevitably focusing on the late Stoics Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. I have written a couple of books on ancient Stoicism, one of which (Stoicism, 2006) has been described by reviewers as "excellent", "outstanding", and "the best introduction to the subject".
During my Junior Research Fellowship at Wolfson I worked on the reception of Stoicism in Renaissance and Early Modern philosophy, focusing on Justus Lipsius and Ralph Cudworth. Pieces of this work are slowly being published.
I also have strong interests in the ancient commentators, inspired by finding Simplicius' commentary on Epictetus, and consolidated by working as Assistant Editor for the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project, where I edited translations of texts by Alexander of Aphrodisias, Aspasius, Philoponus, Proclus, and Simplicius.
More recently I have been exploring Medieval and Renaissance philosophy, teaching a course on Medieval philosophy, and organizing a conference on Renaissance philosophy. I have become particularly interested in the work of Pietro Pomponazzi and recently ran a reading group devoted to Marsilio Ficino’s commentary on Plato's Parmenides.
At present I am working on two book projects: a book on Hellenistic Philosophy for Oxford University Press, and an edited collection of essays on the reception of Stoicism for Routledge.
You can email me at john.sellars 'at' wolfson.ox.ac.uk (or use this form).
This site also hosts an archive of the website 'Teaching Ancient Philosophy', an output from a research project completed in 2002.