Prof. Ahrweiler was born and raised in Greece. She obtained a doctorate in History and Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris and graduated from several institutes for the Study of foreign languages.
She spent several years in Paris where she started working at the CNRS as a researcher, and later became vice-president (1970-1973) and president of the University of Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne). Today she is Honorary Chancellor of the Universities of Paris and Rector of the Academy of Paris. She was President of the National Centre of Arts and Culture “Georges Pompidou” (1989-1992), and is now the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, the National Theatre of Greece, the Dimitri Chostakovitch Association, the American Museum of Art (France) and the Committee of Ethics in Science and Scientific research (France)., She is also Vice President of the Danielle Mitterrand Foundation “France-Libertés”.
She holds Honorary Doctorates of the Universities of London, Belgrade, New York, Nouveau Brunswick (Canada), Lima, American University of Paris, School of Advanced Studies in Political & Social Sciences of Athens, Harvard, Haifa, Frieburg and Thessaloniki.
Honorary distinctions include Commander of the Hellenic Legion of Honour, Commander of the French Legion of Honour, Grand Officier of the National Order of Merit, Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, Officer of the Order of Academic Palms from the Ministry of Education (France), Civic Order (Golden Star-France), Commander of the Order of the Big Iceland Hawk, Commander of the National Order of the Oak Crown of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, Grand Order of Honour in Silver with plaque of the Republic of Austria, Commander of the Royal Danish Order of Dannebrog, Commander of the Order of Culture of the Republic of Portugal, Commander of the Order of Culture of the Republic of Italy and she is Member of the Olympic Order.
Today, she is also President of the University of Europe and Director of the Research Center for Byzantine and Christian Near East History and Civilization.