AIA Lecturer: William M. Murray
University of South Florida
Bill Murray was born in State College, Pennsylvania, and grew up as a "townie," next to Penn State University, where his father was head of the History Department. In the 1960s, Murray's parents bought a 30-foot sloop and spent summers in the Virgin Islands living aboard with their three kids. Murray learned how to dive, saw first-hand the influence of the sea over those who live along its shores, and faced shipwreck more than once. When he went to Penn State, and then Penn, he became captivated by Greek and Roman culture and decided to move to Greece to study ancient port cities for his Ph.D. dissertation. Ever since learning of the discovery of a complete warship ram just south of Haifa in November 1980, Murray has been obsessed with extracting evidence from the weapon to understand ancient galley warfare. He is now is the Mary and Gus Stathis Professor of Greek History and the Director of the Ancient Studies Center at the University of South Florida, and recent publications include The Age of Titans (2012, Oxford University Press). Professor Murray is a past AIA Norton Lecturer, and is this season’s Bass Lecturer.