Working Papers by Author

Ian Morris - Classics Department, Stanford University


120511 Military and political participation in archaic-classical Greece
Ian Morris, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In this paper I examine the “bargaining hypothesis” about democracy by calculating nd political participation ratios in Greece (MPR and PPR). I find that high (>10%) MPR coincided with high PPR, but was only one path toward state formation. Except in extreme situations like the Persian invasion of 480, high MPR and PPR depended on specific patterns of capital accumulation and concentration. In situations of high capital concentration rulers could substitute high spending for high MPR and PPR, preserving desirable social arrangements. Through time, the importance of capital concentrations grew. War made states and states made war in ancient Greece, as in early-modern Europe, but in different ways.

120510 The collapse and regeneration of complex society in Greece, 1500-500 BC
Ian Morris, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Greece between 1500 and 500 BC is one of the best known examples of the phenomenon of the regeneration of complex society after a collapse. I review 10 core dimensions of this process (urbanism, tax and rent, monuments, elite power, information- recording systems, trade, crafts, military power, scale, and standards of living), and suggest that punctuated equilibrium models accommodate the data better than gradualist interpretations.

120509 The growth of Greek cities in the first millennium BC
Ian Morris, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In this paper I trace the growth of the largest Greek cities from perhaps 1,000- 2,000 people at the beginning of the first millennium BC to 400,000-500,000 at the millennium’s end. I examine two frameworks for understanding this growth: Roland Fletcher’s discussion of the interaction and communication limits to growth and Max Weber’s ideal types of cities’ economic functions. I argue that while political power was never the only engine of urban growth in classical antiquity, it was always the most important motor. The size of the largest Greek cities was a function of the population they controlled, mechanisms of tax and rent, and transportation technology.

120508 The Athenian Empire (478-404 BC)
Ian Morris, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In this paper I raise three questions: (1) How, and how much, did the Athenian Empire change Greek society? (2) Why did the Athenian Empire (or a competitor state) not become a multiethnic empire like Persia or Rome? (3) In the long run, how much did the Athenian Empire’s failure matter? I conclude: (1) The Athenian Empire increased the tempo of state formation in classical Greece and is best understood as an example of state formation not imperialism. (2) Counterfactual analysis suggests that Athens failed to become the capital of a multi-city state because of human error, and as late as 406 BC the most predictable outcome was that Athens would emerge as capital of an Ionian state. (3) Not much.

120507 The eighth-century revolution
Ian Morris, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Through most of the 20th century classicists saw the 8th century BC as a period of major changes, which they characterized as “revolutionary,” but in the 1990s critics proposed more gradualist interpretations. In this paper I argue that while 30 years of fieldwork and new analyses inevitably require us to modify the framework established by Snodgrass in the 1970s (a profound social and economic depression in the Aegean c. 1100-800 BC; major population growth in the 8th century; social and cultural transformations that established the parameters of classical society), it nevertheless remains the most convincing interpretation of the evidence, and that the idea of an 8th-century revolution remains useful

120506 Troy and Homer
Ian Morris, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This is a review of Joachim Latacz’s book Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery (2004), focusing on the archaeological issues.