Beryl Rawson



Beryl Rawson (née Wilkinson; 24 July 1933 – 22 October 2010) was an Australian academic. She was Professor and Visiting Fellow in Classics at the Faculty of Arts of the
Australian National University The Australian National University (ANU) is a public research university located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Its main campus in Acton encompasses seven teaching and research colleges, in addition to several national academies and ...
(ANU). Her work "made ANU a significant centre for classical studies".

Early life and education

Rawson was born in
Innisfail, Queensland Innisfail (from Irish: Inis Fáil) is a regional town and locality in the Cassowary Coast Region, Queensland, Australia. The town was originally called Geraldton until 1910. In the , the town of Innisfail had a population of 7,236 people, while ...
, and grew up in a small town nearby where her father was the schoolteacher. She won a full state government scholarship to the
University of Queensland , mottoeng = By means of knowledge and hard work , established = , endowment = A$224.3 million , budget = A$2.1 billion , type = Public research university , chancellor = Peter Varghese , vice_chancellor = Deborah Terry , city = B ...
, where she excelled in classics and graduated with first-class honours. She accepted a
Fulbright Scholarship The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright–Hays Program, is one of several United States Cultural Exchange Programs with the goal of improving intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy, and intercultural competence between the people of ...
to the United States and completed a doctorate at
Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr College ( ; Welsh: ) is a women's liberal arts college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Founded as a Quaker institution in 1885, Bryn Mawr is one of the Seven Sister colleges, a group of elite, historically women's colleges in the United St ...
, under
Lily Ross Taylor Lily Ross Taylor (born August 12, 1886, in Auburn, Alabama - died November 18, 1969, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) was an American academic and author, who in 1917 became the first female Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. Biography Born in ...


Her career at the Australian National University began in 1964, when she was appointed senior lecturer in Classics. She served as Dean of the Faculty of the Arts from 1981 to 1986 and in 1989 was appointed Professor of Classics, retiring in 1998. As well as her academic duties, Rawson won five research grants between 1979 and 1991 and served on the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee and the Australian Research Council. She was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2006. The administrative offices of the College of Arts and Social Sciences at ANU was named after her following her death. On 13 December 2010, Vice-Chancellor of ANU, Professor Ian Chubb officially recognised the naming of the Beryl Rawson Building in her honour.


In the late 1970s she began using computers to analyse "the mass of funerary inscriptions commemorating slaves and freedmen, their spouses and children" and to better understand the lives of the lower classes in the early Roman Empire. She organised a number of conferences in Canberra on the Roman family (1981, 1988, 1994) and published collected papers resulting from these which included her own contributions, such as ''Children and childhood in Roman Italy'' (2003) and ''A companion to families in the Greek and Roman worlds'' (2010).

Personal life

Rawson's first marriage was to political scientist Don Rawson, the son of politician Roy Rawson. They later divorced and she remarried in 1983 to historian A. W. Martin. She was widowed in 2002.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Rawson, Beryl 1933 births 2010 deaths Australian classical scholars Women classical scholars People from Innisfail, Queensland University of Queensland alumni Scholars of Roman history Australian women historians Australian National University faculty 20th-century Australian historians 21st-century Australian historians Fellows of the Australian Academy of the Humanities 21st-century Australian women writers 20th-century Australian women writers Bryn Mawr College alumni