John Myles Dillon is an Irish classicist, philosopher and author based in Dublin, Ireland. After studying the Classics at Oxford, John completed a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, where he then joined the Faculty in 1969. Prior to that, after graduating from Oxford in 1961, he spent some years teaching English in Ethiopia, which became the inspiration for his debut novel, The Scent of Eucalyptus. His chief area of academic interest is the philosophy of Plato and the tradition deriving from him, on which he has written a number of books, about which see more here. His area of research lies in the history of Platonism from the Old Academy to the Renaissance, and also Early Christianity.
Upon his return from Berkeley in 1980, he took up the Regius Chair of Greek in Trinity College Dublin – a position he held until his retirement in 2006. John Dillon was elected a member of the Academy of Athens on 15 June 2010. He is now Professor of Greek (Emeritus) at Trinity College, Dublin, and recently played a major role in the foundation of The Dublin Plato Centre, which is based on the campus.
In 2020, he took time over the lock down periods to compile his most recent title, The Lockdown Papers, which comprises a selection of his social and political essays, published over four decades in Irish newspapers. Katounia Press, the independent publishing imprint he set up to launch this new title, has since published PS Look out for snakes– The love letters of Brian Farrell and Marie Thérèse Dillon (1954-55), by Miriam Farrell-Schtaierman.
In 2021, John Dillon was elected to The British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. He lives with his wife Jean near Howth Head in Dublin.