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Bettany has always combined her academic work and research interests with an avid belief in the importance of public engagement.

Bettany has taught at Oxford University, King’s College London and the New College of the Humanities. In 2012 she won the Norton Medlicott Medal for History. She is a tutor at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education and lectures widely around the world. Recently she has taught at Oxford, Cambridge, Cornell, the University of Missouri, UCL, the Institute of Historical Research, Leicester, Manchester and Bristol Universities. She has been awarded Honorary Fellowships of both Cardiff University and the Historical Association. Following an Open Scholarship to Oxford University where she won the Charles Oldham prize and a scholarship to the V&A Royal College of Art‘s History of Design programme. She continued her postgraduate study in the Balkans and Asia Minor. Her research interests range from the role of women in Spartan society, to the value of 'wisdom' in contemporary society. Bettany is also a patron of the British Institute at Ankara.

Bettany's most recent book, Venus & Aphrodite, explores why this immortal goddess has endured for centuries through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations.


The word mankind almost certainly derives from the Proto-Indo-European ‘manu’ – a thinking thing. Bettany does what she can to promote the idea that as a species we are defined by our capacity to think, and takes a delight in encouraging the pursuit of knowledge and of understanding.

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