Working Papers by Author

Walter Scheidel - Classics Department, Stanford University


041307 Explaining the maritime freight charges in Diocletian’s Price Edict
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Geospatial modeling enables us to relate the maritime freight charges imposed by the tetrarchic price controls of 301 CE to simulated sailing time. This exercise demonstrates that price variation is to a large extent a function of variation in sailing time and suggests that the published rates are more realistic than previously assumed.

041306 The shape of the Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Ancient societies were shaped by logistical constraints that are almost unimaginable to modern observers. “ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World” (http://orbis.stanford.edu) for the first time allows us to understand the true cost of distance in building and maintaining a huge empire with premodern technology. This paper explores various ways in which this novel Digital Humanities tool changes and enriches our understanding of ancient history.

041305 Comparing comparisons: ancient East and West
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - What is comparative history good for? Does it pose special challenges? In our time of accelerating globalization, are we ready to embrace a new inter-discipline, Comparative Classics?

041304 Comparing ancient worlds: comparative history as comparative advantage
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Chinese historians of the Greco-Roman world can and should make a significant contribution to this field by promoting the comparative analysis of ancient civilizations in eastern and western Eurasia.

041303 Evolutionary psychology and the historian
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - New possibilities have been opened up for historians by a new wave of engagement with biology, or more particularly with human biology, for the study of human history, environmental history, health history, and the co-evolutionary history of humans and other species. This paper critically explores the uses and limits of evolutionary psychology for the study of history by focusing on the particularly intensely discussed phenomenon of incest avoidance.

041302 Measuring Finley’s impact
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The concluding contribution to a conference devoted to the work of the prominent ancient historian Moses I. Finley (1912-1986), this paper seeks to measure his scholarly impact by means of a bibliometric approach.

041301 Slavery and forced labor in early China and the Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The use of coerced labor in the form of chattel slavery in the private sector has long been regarded as one of the defining characteristics of some of the best-known economies of the ancient Mediterranean. It may even have been critical in producing the surplus that sustained the ruling class. In early China, by contrast, forced labor (often by convicts) appears to have been concentrated in the public sector. This paper is a first attempt to study these systems comparatively in order to investigate whether these differences were genuine and significant, and whether they can be related to observed outcomes in terms of economic and socio-political development.

091102 Updated citation scores for ancient historians in the United States
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This survey of citation scores provides a rough measure of the relative impact of scholarship published by thirty-two leading ancient historians in the United States. It offers an update of an earlier survey presented in this series in 2008.

091007 Approaching the Roman economy
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper introduces current approaches to the study of the Roman economy. It discusses ways of measuring Roman economic performance, the uses of historical comparison, and competing models of economic behavior, and stresses the importance of ecological factors. It concludes with an appendix summarizing evidence for climatic conditions in the Roman period.

091006 Human development and quality of life in the long run: the case of Greece
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The Human development Index of the United Nations and other broadly based indices of wellbeing seek to identify and measure a wide range of determinants of the quality of life. Income, longevity, and education are regarded as key indicators. Auxiliary variables include nutrition, income and gender inequality, political and human rights, crime rates, human rights, and environmental degradation. Although some of the factors cannot be properly assessed with respect to the more distant past, indices such as these nevertheless provide a useful template for the historical cross-cultural and comparative study of human development and quality of life. This paper illustrates the potential of this approach by exploring the changing configuration of significant variables in the long run, using the Greek world from antiquity to the recent past as a test case. This exercise is meant to provide context for the study of the quality of life as envisioned by our panel.

091005 Roman real wages in context
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper presents and discusses evidence of real incomes in the Roman period. It shows that real wages rose in response to demographic contractions. There is no evidence that would support the assumption that Roman economic growth raised real wages for workers. However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence: relevant data are scarce and highly unevenly distributed in time and space.

091004 The Xiongnu and the comparative study of empire
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper discusses state formation among the Xiongnu from a comparative perspective, arguing that it is legitimate to refer to their polity as an ‘empire.’ It also explores the applicability of a new theory that seeks to explain large-scale imperiogenesis with reference to structural tensions between steppe nomads and agriculturalists.

091003 Slavery in the Roman economy
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper discusses the location of slavery in the Roman economy. It deals with the size and distribution of the slave population and the economics of slave labor and offers a chronological sketch of the development of Roman slavery.

091002 Coin quality, coin quantity, and coin value in early China and the Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In ancient China, early bronze ‘tool money’ came to be replaced by round bronze coins that were supplemented by uncoined gold and silver bullion, whereas in the Greco-Roman world, precious-metal coins dominated from the beginnings of coinage. Chinese currency is often interpreted in ‘nominalist’ terms, and although a ‘metallist’ perspective used be common among students of Greco-Roman coinage, putatively fiduciary elements of the Roman currency system are now receiving growing attention. I argue that both the intrinsic properties of coins and the volume of the money supply were the principal determinants of coin value and that fiduciary aspects must not be overrated. These principles apply regardless of whether precious-metal or base-metal currencies were dominant.
This paper replaces (090902) originally published in January 2010.

091001 Physical wellbeing in the Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper presents and discusses evidence of physical wellbeing in the Roman period. It covers life expectancy, mortality patterns, and skeletal evidence such as body height, cranial lesions, and dental defects. These data reveal both commonalities and significant regional variation within the Roman Empire.
This paper replaces (011002) originally published in January 2010.

021003 Age and health in Roman Egypt
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Prepared for a forthcoming handbook of Roman Egypt, this paper surveys ancient and comparative evidence and modern interpretations of life expectancy, mortality patterns, and disease in ancient Egypt.

011003 Greco-Roman sex ratios and femicide in comparative perspective
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Is it possible to demonstrate that ancient Greeks or Romans disposed of newborn daughters in ways that skewed sex ratios in favor of males? Epigraphic, papyrological, and archaeological evidence fails to provide reliable empirical support for this notion. At the same time, we cannot rule out the possibility that femicide did in fact occur. Drawing on comparative anthropological and historical evidence, this paper briefly develops two models of femicidal practice.

011002 Physical wellbeing in the Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised September 2010. See entry 091001.

011001 Roman wellbeing and the economic consequences of the ‘Antonine Plague’
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University (with a contribution by John Sutherland)
Download PDF Abstract - This paper responds to recent scholarship by Willem Jongman and Geoffrey Kron that has tried to make a case for elevated levels of prosperity and physical wellbeing in the first two centuries of the Roman imperial monarchy. The relevance of various putative indicators is critiqued. Demographic data as well as anthropometric evidence consistently point to high levels of morbidity and mortality and substantial developmental stress. This evidence is incompatible with an optimistic interpretation of living conditions in that period. The second part of the paper revisits previous arguments concerning the impact of the so-called ‘Antonine Plague’ of the late second century CE. Papyrological data from Roman Egypt indicate a shift in the ratio of land to labor that is logically consistent with a significant demographic contraction. At the same time, comparative evidence from other periods suggests that the scale of this contraction must not be overrated.
This paper replaces (090903) originally published in September 2009.

090904 Real wages in early economies: Evidence for living standards from 1800 BCE to 1300 CE
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Price and wage data from Roman Egypt in the first three centuries CE indicate levels of real income for unskilled workers that are comparable to those implied by price and wage data in Diocletian’s price edict of 301 CE and to those documented in different parts of Europe and Asia in the eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. In all these cases, consumption was largely limited to goods that were essential for survival and living standards must have been very modest. A survey of daily wages expressed in terms of wheat in different Afroeurasian societies from 1800 BCE to 1300 CE yields similar results: with a few exceptions, real incomes of unskilled laborers tended to be very low.
This paper replaces (030801) originally published in March 2008.

090903 Roman wellbeing and the economic consequences of the ‘Antonine Plague’
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
This paper paper has been removed at the request of the author.

090902 Coin quality, coin quantity, and coin value in early China and the Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised September 2010. See entry 091002.

040902 A comparative perspective on the determinants of the scale and productivity of maritime trade in the Roman Mediterranean
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The scale and productivity of maritime trade is a function of environmental conditions, political processes and economic development that determine demand, and more specifically of trading costs. Trading costs are the sum of transportation costs (comprised of the cost of carriage and the cost of risk, most notably predation), transaction costs and financing costs. Comparative evidence from the medieval and early modern periods shows that the cost of predation (caused by war, privateering, piracy, and tolls) and commercial organization (which profoundly affects transaction and financing costs as well as the cost of carriage) have long been the most important determinants of overall trading costs. This suggests that conditions in the Roman period were unusually favorable for maritime trade. Technological innovation, by contrast, was primarily an endogenous function of broader political and economic developments and should not be viewed as a major factor in the expansion of commerce in this period.

040901 Demography, disease, and death in the ancient city of Rome
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper surveys textual and physical evidence of disease and mortality in the city of Rome in the late republican and imperial periods. It emphasizes the significance of seasonal mortality data and the weaknesses of age at death records and paleodemographic analysis, considers the complex role of environmental features and public infrastructure, and highlights the very considerable promise of scientific study of skeletal evidence of stress and disease.
This paper replaces version 1.0 (020903) originally published in February 2009.

020903 Demography, disease, and death in the ancient city of Rome
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised April 2009. See entry 040901.

010903 Monogamy and polygyny
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract -This paper discusses Greco-Roman practices of monogamy and polygyny for a forthcoming handbook on the ancient family.

010902 Economy and quality of life in the Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract -This paper surveys recent trends in the study of economic development and human well-being in the Roman world.

010901 The size of the economy and the distribution of income in the Roman Empire
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University; and Stephen Friesen, University of Texas
Download PDF Abstract - Different ways of estimating the Gross Domestic Product of the Roman Empire in the second century CE produce convergent results that point to total output and consumption equivalent to 50 million tons of wheat or close to 20 billion sesterces per year. It is estimated that elites (around 1.5 per cent of the imperial population) controlled approximately one-fifth of total income while middling households (perhaps 10 percent of the population) consumed another fifth. These findings shed new light on the scale of economic inequality and the distribution of demand in the Roman world.
This paper replaces version 1.0 (110801) originally published in November 2008.
This paper has now been published in Journal of Roman Studies, Vol 99 (2009) pp. 61-91.

110801 The size of the economy and the distribution of income in the Roman Empire
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University and Stephen Friesen, University of Texas
Revised January 2009. See entry 010901.

060808 In search of Roman economic growth
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract -This paper seeks to relate proxy indices of economic performance to competing hypotheses of sustainable and unsustainable intensive economic growth in the Roman world. It considers the economic relevance of certain types of archaeological data, the potential of income-centered indices of economic performance, and the complex relationship between economic growth and incomes documented in the more recent past, and concludes with a conjectural argument in support of a Malthusian model of unsustainable economic growth triggered by integration.
This paper has now been published in Journal of Roman Archaeology, Vol 22 (2009) pp. 46-70.

060807 Monogamy and polygyny in Greece, Rome, and world history
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In what sense were the ancient Greeks and Romans monogamous, and why does it matter? This paper summarizes the physical and anthropological record of polygyny, briefly sketches the historical expansion of formal monogamy, considers complementary theories of mate choice, and situates Greco-Roman practice on a spectrum from traditional polygamy to more recent forms of normative monogyny.
This paper has now been published in History of the Family, Vol 14 (2009) pp. 280-291.

030801 Real wages in early economies: Evidence for living standards from 2000 BCE to 1300 CE
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Abstract - Price and wage data from Roman Egypt in the first three centuries CE indicate levels of real income for unskilled workers that are comparable to those implied by price and wage data in Diocletian’s price edict of 301 CE and to those documented in different parts of Europe and Asia in the eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. In all these cases, consumption was largely limited to goods that were essential for survival and living standards were very low. A survey of daily wages expressed in terms of wheat in different Afroeurasian societies from 2000 BCE to 1300 CE yields similar results: with only few exceptions, real incomes of unskilled laborers tended to be very low.
This paper has been revised. Please see entry 090904 posted in September 2009.
020803 The monetary systems of the Han and Roman empires
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The Chinese tradition of supplementing large quantities of bronze cash with unminted gold and silver represents a rare exception to the western model of precious-metal coinage. This paper provides a detailed discussion of monetary development in ancient China followed by a brief survey of conditions in the Roman empire. The divergent development of the monetary systems of the Han and Roman empires is analyzed with reference to key variables such as the metal supply, military incentives, and cultural preferences. This paper also explores the “metallistic” and “chartalistic” elements of the Han and Roman currency systems and estimates the degree of monetization of both economies.
This paper replaces version 1.0 (110505) originally posted in November 2005.
This paper has now been published in "Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires" W. Scheidel (ed.), Oxford University Press: New York, 2009, pp. 137-207.

020802 Real Wages in Roman Egypt: A contribution to recent work on pre-modern living standards
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
This paper has been removed.

020801 Citation scores for ancient historians in the United States
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This survey of citation scores provides a rough measure of the relative impact of scholarship published by forty-eight leading ancient historians in the United States.

110702 From the ‘Great Convergence’ to the ‘First Great Divergence’: Roman and Qin-Han state formation and its aftermath
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper provides a synoptic outline of convergent trends in state formation in western and eastern Eurasia from the early first millennium BCE to the mid-first millennium CE and considers the problem of subsequent divergence.
This paper replaces version 2.0 (100705) originally posted in October 2007; and version 1 (120601) originally posted in December 2006.
This paper has now been published in "Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires" W. Scheidel (ed.), Oxford University Press: New York, 2009, pp. 11-23.

110701 When did Livy write Books 1, 3, 28, and 59?
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper argues that several of Livy’s statements were prompted by events at or close to the time of writing and can therefore be used to shed light on the chronology of his work.
This paper has now been published in Classical Quarterly Vol 59 (2009), pp. 653-658.

100707 When did Livy write Books 1, 3, 28, and 59?
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised November 2007. See entry 110701.

100706 The ‘First Great Divergence’: Trajectories of post-ancient state formation in eastern and western Eurasia
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper identifies divergent trends in state formation after the disintegration of the Roman and Han empires and considers their causes and long-term consequences.

100705 From the ‘Great Convergence’ to the ‘First Great Divergence’: Roman and Qin-Han state formation and its aftermath
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
This paper (version 2.0) replaces version 1 (120601) originally posted in December 2006. It has since been revised. See 110702 entry.

070706 Roman population size: the logic of the debate
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper provides a critical assessment of the current state of the debate about the number of Roman citizens and the size of the population of Roman Italy. Rather than trying to make a case for a particular reading of the evidence, it aims to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of rival approaches and examine the validity of existing arguments and critiques. After a brief survey of the evidence and the principal positions of modern scholarship, it focuses on a number of salient issues such as urbanization, military service, labor markets, political stability, living standards, and carrying capacity, and considers the significance of field surveys and comparative demographic evidence.
This paper replaces version 1 (050705) originally posted in May 2007.
This paper has now been published in "People, Land, and Politics: Demographic Developments and the Transformation of Roman Italy, 300 BC - AD 14" L. de Ligt and S. J. Northwood (eds.), Brill: Leiden, 2008, pp. 17-70.

060701 Epigraphy and demography: birth, marriage, family, and death
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In recent years, the adoption of key concepts and models of modern population studies has greatly advanced our understanding of the demography of the Greco-Roman world. Epigraphic evidence has made a vital contribution to this development: statistical analysis of tens of thousands of tombstone inscriptions has generated new insights into mortality regimes, marriage practices, and family structures in various parts of the ancient Mediterranean. In conjunction with papyrological material, these data permit us to identify regional differences and facilitate long-term comparisons with more recent historical populations. After a brief survey of the principal sources of demographic information about the classical world, this paper focuses on the use of inscriptions in the study of population size, mortality, fertility, nuptiality, sex ratios, family formation, and household organization.

050705 Roman population size: the logic of the debate
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised July 2007. See entry 070706.

050704 The Roman slave supply
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This survey of the scale and sources of the Roman slave supply will be published in Keith Bradley and Paul Cartledge (eds.), The Cambridge world history of slavery, 1: The ancient Mediterranean world.

020702 Towards Open Access in Ancient Studies: The Princeton-Stanford Working Papers in Classics
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
Donna Sanclemente, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - An investigation of the present impact and future prospects of open access electronic publication of scholarly research on working papers sites, based on the authors’ collective experience with developing and maintaining a WP site for Classics and Classical Archaeology.
This paper has now been published in Hesperia vol. 76 (2007), pp. 229-242.

020701 A model of real income growth in Roman Italy
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper presents a new model of the main exogenous and endogenous determinants of real income growth in Italy in the last two centuries BC. I argue that war-related demographic attrition, emigration and the urban graveyard effect converged in constraining the growth of the freeborn population despite increased access to material resources that would otherwise have been conducive to demographic growth and concomitant depression of real incomes; that massive redistribution of financial resources from Roman elites and provincial subjects to large elements of the Italian commoner population in the terminal phase of the Republican period raised average household wealth and improved average well-being; and that despite serious uncertainties about the demographic and occupational distribution of such benefits, the evidence is consistent with the notion of rising real incomes in sub-elite strata of the Italian population. I conclude my presentation with a dynamic model of growth and decline in real income in Roman Italy followed by a brief look at comparable historical scenarios in early modern Europe. I hope to make it probable that due to a historically specific configuration of circumstances created by the mechanisms of Roman Republican politics and imperialism, the Italian heartland of the emerging empire witnessed temporary but ultimately unsustainable improvements in income and consumption levels well beyond elite circles.
This paper replaces version 1 (020602) originally posted in February 2006.
This paper has been published in Historia 56 (2007) 332-346.

120601 Imperial state formation in Rome and China: From the Great Convergence to the First Great Divergence
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised October 2007. See 100706 entry.

110604 New ways of studying incomes in the Roman economy
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper very briefly considers three ways of expanding the study of Roman income levels beyond the limits of empirical data on costs and wages, by considering the determinants of real incomes, the use of proxy data for real incomes, and the potential of cross-cultural comparison.

060601 Growing up fatherless in antiquity: the demographic background
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In ancient societies, many individuals lost their fathers while they were still minors or unmarried. Building on Richard Saller’s seminal work, this paper examines the demographic dimension of this phenomenon. This paper is designed to provide demographic context for a forthcoming collection of essays on growing up fatherless in antiquity.
This paper has now been published in "Growing Up Fatherless in Antiquity" S Hübner and D. Ratzan (eds.), Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2009, pp. 31-40.

050603 Sex and empire: a Darwinian perspective
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper draws on evolutionary psychology to elucidate ultimate causation in imperial state formation and predatory exploitation in antiquity and beyond. Differential access to the means of reproduction is shown to have been a key feature of early imperial systems.
This paper replaces Version 1.0 posted in November 2005.
This paper has now been published in "The Dynamics of Ancient Empires: State Power From Assyria to Byzantium" I. Morris and W. Scheidel (eds.), Oxford University Press: New York, 2009, pp. 255-324.

040604 Population and demography
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper provides a general overview of Greco-Roman population history.

040603 The divergent evolution of coinage in eastern and western Eurasia
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper offers a concise comparative assessment of some key features of the "Aegean" and "Chinese" models of coinage.

040601 Comparative history as comparative advantage: China’s potential contribution to the study of ancient Mediterranean history
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper argues that Chinese historians of the Greco-Roman world can and should make a significant contribution to this field by promoting the comparative analysis of ancient civilizations in eastern and western Eurasia.

020602 Real income growth in Roman Italy
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised February 2007. See 020701 entry.

020601 Republics between hegemony and empire: How ancient city-states built empires and the USA doesn’t (anymore)
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper discusses the concepts ‘empire’ and ‘hegemony’, provides a new model of the institutional structure of ancient ‘citizen-city-state empires’, and argues that the contemporary USA cannot be defined as an ‘empire’.

110509 Marriage, families, and survival in the Roman imperial army: demographic aspects
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper provides a survey of marriage and family formation in the army of the Principate, and assesses the main determinants of the life expectancy of professional Roman soldiers.
This paper has now been published in "The Blackwell Companion to the Roman Army" P Erdkamp (ed.), Blackwell: Oxford and Malden, 2007, pp. 417-434.

110508 Real slave prices and the relative cost of slave labor in the Greco-Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
No longer available as as working paper. The final publication is in Ancient Society 35 (2005) 1-17.

110507 Stratification, deprivation, and quality of life in the Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
No longer available as a working paper. The final publication is in M. Atkins and R. Osborne, eds., Poverty in the Roman World (Cambridge University Press, 2006), 40-59.

110506 Sex and empire: a Darwinian perspective
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised May 2006. See 050603 entry.

110505 The monetary systems of the Han and Roman empires
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised February 2008. See 020803 entry.

110504 The comparative economics of slavery in the Greco-Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - A comparative perspective improves our understanding of the critical determinants of the large-scale use of slave labor in different sectors of historical economies, including classical Greece and the Italian heartland of the Roman empire. This paper argues that the success of chattel slavery was a function of the specific configuration of several critical variables: the character of certain kinds of economic activity, the incentive system, the normative value system of a society, and the nature of commitments required of the free population. High real wages and low slave prices precipitated the expansion of slavery in classical Greece and Republican Rome, while later periods of Roman history may have witnessed either a high-equilibrium level of slavery or its gradual erosion in the context of lower wages and higher prices.
This paper has now been published in "Slave Systems, Ancient and Modern" E. Dal Lago and C. Katsari (eds.), Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2009, pp. 105-126.

110503 Roman funerary commemoration and the age at first marriage
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper offers a critical assessment of the debate about the customary age at first marriage of men and women in Roman Italy and the western provinces of the early Roman empire. While literary sources point to early female and male marriage (around ages 12-15 and 18-20, respectively) in elite circles, the epigraphic record is mostly consistent with Saller’s thesis that non-elite men did not normally marry until their late twenties. Shaw’s thesis that non-elite women married in their late teens is plausible but remains difficult to test. Comparative data from late medieval Tuscany raise doubts about the applicability of these findings beyond urban environments.
This paper has been published in Classical Philology 102 (2007) 389-402.

110502 The demography of Roman state formation in Italy
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper seeks to provide a basic demographic framework for the study of integrative processes in Italy during the Republican period. Following a brief summary of the state of the debate about population size, the paper focuses on distributional issues such as military and political participation rates and geographical mobility, and concludes with a simple model of the dynamics of Italian integration.
The final publication is in: M. Jehne and R. Pfeilschifter (eds.), Herrschaft ohne Integration? Rom und Italien in republikanischer Zeit (Frankfurt: Verlag Antike, 2006), 207-226.

110501 Military commitments and political bargaining in ancient Greece
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper explores the relationship between military commitments and political bargaining in Greek poleis and beyond. While it is possible to document a number of instances of concurrent political and military mobilization, comparative evidence suggests that state type may be a more important determinant of military mobilization levels than regime type.