WORKING PAPERS BY DATE - 2009

NOVEMBER
110901 Identity Theft: Masquerades and Impersonations in the Contemporary Books of Cassius Dio
Maud W. Gleason, Stanford University
Revised November 2010. See entry 111001.

OCTOBER
100901 Magna mihi copia est memorandi: Modes of Historiography in the Speeches of Caesar and Cato (Sallust, "Bellum Catilinae" 51-4)
Andrew Feldherr, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: This paper analyzes the historiographic dimension of the paired speeches of Caesar and Cato at the climax of Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae. Where Caesar stresses the continuities between past and present and so the capacity of history, rationally analyzed, to offer general precepts for political behavior, Cato by contrast stresses the radical difference of the past. Each perspective allows a different reading of Sallust’s own narrative. Yet rather than privileging one point of view over the other, Sallust uses the tension between them to focus attention on the question of what history is for in an age of civil discord.

SEPTEMBER
090909 Antonomasia, Anonymity, and Atoms: Naming Effects in Lucretius’ "De rerum natura"
Wilson H. Shearin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This essay argues that selected proper names within Lucretius’ De rerum natura, rather than pointing deictically or referring with clear historical specificity, instead render Lucretius’ poem vaguer and more anonymous. To make this case, the essay first briefly surveys Roman naming practices, ultimately focusing upon a specific kind of naming, deictic naming. Deictic naming points (or attempts to point) to a given entity and often conjures up a sense of the reality of that entity. The essay then studies the role of deictic naming within Epicureanism and the relationship of such naming to instances of naming within De rerum natura. Through analysis of the nominal disappearance of Memmius, the near nominal absence of Epicurus, and the deployment of Venus (and other names) within the conclusion to Lucretius’ fourth book, the essay demonstrates how selected personal names in De rerum natura, in contrast to the ideal of deictic naming, become more general, more anonymous, whether by the substitution of other terms (Memmius, Epicurus), by referential wandering (Venus), or by still other means. The conclusion briefly studies the political significance of this phenomenon, suggesting that there is a certain popular quality to the tendency towards nominal indefiniteness traced in the essay.

090908 Haunting Nepos: "Atticus" and the Performance of Roman Epicurean Death
Wilson H. Shearin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper, written for Hedonic Reading, a collection on Epicurean reception I am co-editing with Brooke Holmes of Princeton, reads the famous death of T. Pomponius Atticus (as recounted in Cornelius Nepos) against a backdrop of other Stoic and Epicurean deaths. It develops the figure of “haunting” as a way of speaking about the absent presence of Epicureanism in Atticus, which strikingly never mentions that philosophy by name – despite the fact that Atticus himself was one of the most well- known Epicureans of the Late Roman Republic. Its reading of Atticus’ death suggests that the biography’s greatest Epicurean traces may be found – rather than in the letter of the text – in the ways in which the details of Atticus’ death fail to conform to the Stoicizing interpretation Nepos’ himself offers. That is, the work is anti-teleological (and thus Epicurean) in its resistance to the clear, teleological (Stoic) reading offered within the biography itself. The paper is thus interested in developing “Epicurean” notions of reading, which – if not entirely adumbrated in antiquity – are potentially present in moments such as Lucretius’ comparison of letters and atoms, where the composition of the world and the composition of the text are juxtaposed.

090907 Mythical inversions and history in Bacchylides 5
Foivos Karachalios, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The purpose of this paper is first to suggest that the mythical section of Bacchylides 5 is governed by a certain literary strategy, namely the inversion of social and literary norms pertaining to gender as well as the heroic ideal. Second, by looking at the historical context of the ode I venture to demonstrate that, as presented in the mythical section, the key inversion of external into internal war might have had a concrete meaning for the laudandus, Hieron of Syracuse.

090906 Rudolf Pfeiffer. A Catholic Classicist in the Age of Protestant "Altertumswissenschaft"
Christian Kaesser, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The basic question this paper addresses is the way in which Catholic classicist in Germany’s south and Catholics in general reacted to Wolf’s Altertumswissenschaft, which was inspired by Prussia’s ‘Kulturprotestantismus’, developed by Protestant scholars, and tied to the institutions of Protestant Prussia. It approaches the question through a case study of Rudolf Pfeiffer, who was one of very few Catholic classicists who flourished within the institutional framework of Altertumswissenschaft. It identifies unique features in Pfeiffer’s scholarship in comparison to his Protestant colleagues and examines the extent to which they can be explained by his Catholic upbringing and the tradition of studying Classics it inspired.

090905 On the Dual Nature of the "Carmen Saeculare"
A. T. Zanker, Princeton University
This paper has been removed at the request of the author.

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.

090901 An Aristotelian middle way between deliberation and independent guess aggregation
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
This paper has been revised. See 071102 entry.

AUGUST
080902 Thucydides on Athens’ Democratic Advantage in the Archidamian War
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In book 1 Thucydides’ Corinthians attribute Athenian military success in the Archidamian war to an inherent national character. They empahsize the characteristics of agility, speed, and common-good seeking. Thucydides’ readers come to realize that the Athenian “democratic advantage” stemmed from a superior capacity to organize useful knowledge. Knowledge management in military affairs can be learned; the Athenians fared poorly in the later stages of the war in part because they failed to countenance the possibility that their own techniques could be adapted by their rivals.
Replaces 090702 entitled Athenian Military Performance in Archidamian War. To appear in a volume on "Democracy and Greek Warfare," edited by David Pritchard

080901 Epistemic democracy in classical Athens: Sophistication, diversity, and innovation.
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Analysis of democracy in Athens as an “epistemic” (knowledge-based) form of political and social organization. Adapted from Ober, Democracy and Knowledge, chapters 1-4. Jon Elster (ed.), volume on “Collective Wisdom” (to be published in English and French).

JULY
070902 Comparing democracies. A spatial method with application to ancient Athens
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - A graphic method for specifying historians’ judgments about political change, with special reference to the distance and the direction that Athenian democracy had moved from the era of Cleisthenes to that of Lycurgus. For Vincent Azoulay and Paulin Ismard (eds.). Cleisthène et Lycurgue d’Athènes: Autour du politique dans la cité classique. Editions du Sorbonne, Paris.

070901 Access, Fairness, and Transaction Costs: Nikophon's law on silver coinage (Athens: 375/4 BC)
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Several distinctive, and initially puzzling features of Nikophon's law on silver coinage (Rhodes/Osborne 25) become clear in light of the Athenian state's attempt to drive down transaction costs in order to maintainAthenian public revenues and private profits in the post-imperial era. I suggest that the law was explicitly intended to even the playing field of trade by ensuring non-citizens access to an impartial system of coin verification (the dokimastai), and to dispute resolution mechanisms (the People's courts). Nikophon's law is a relatively early example of the Athenian state's concern for adjusting established institutions with an eye toward lowering the transaction costs associated with trading in the Athenian market through reducing information and legal asymmetries. A similar concern recurs in the mid-fourth century "maritime cases" (dikai emporikai) and in Xenophon's mid-century text, the Poroi. Adapted from Ober, Democracy and Kowlege, chapter 6.

JUNE
060901 State Intervention and Holy Violence Timgad / Paleostrovsk / Waco
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - The investigation attempts to analyze the role of state violence in the particular circumstance of a religious community that is put under siege by state military forces. It does this by comparing three type cases: two pre-modern instances, those of Timgad in early fifth-century north Africa and of dissident monasteries and churches in mid-seventeenth-century Muscovy; and the modern-day siege at Waco, Texas.
This paper replaces version 1.2 (020901) originally posted in February 2009.
This paper has now been published in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol 77.4 (2009), pp. 1-42.
APRIL
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.

MARCH
030901 Itinera Tiberi
Edward Champlin, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: Intended as a guide for quick reference, this paper tabulates all of the known movements of the princeps Tiberius from birth to death.

FEBRUARY
020904 Mapping Politics: An Investigation of Deme Theatres in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C.E.
Jessica Paga, Princeton University
Abstract - Deme theatres, or theatral areas, dot both the countryside of Attika and our epigraphic sources. This paper examines the evidence for nineteen deme theatres in Attika during the fifth and fourth centuries, in conjunction with an exploration of the festival of the Rural Dionysia. The overarching goals are to identify the distribution, shape, and functions of the deme theatral areas, while noting the ramifications of these elements for the administrative and organizational structures of the Athenian democracy.
This paper has now been published in Hesperia 79, (2010) pp. 351-384.

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

020902 Classical culture for a classical country: scholarship and the past in Vincenzo Cuoco'sPlato in Italy
Giovanna Ceserani, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: What is the place of the classical past and its study in Italy, a classical country whose roots reach back to antiquity, but has existed as an independent nation only since 1860? This essay (to be published in S. Stephen and P. Vasunia eds., Classics and National Cultures, OUP) explores this question through analysis of a historical novel set in ancient Greek South Italy and written by a founder of Italian Risorgimento. Cuoco's turn to the past in order to build a modern Italian identity is caught between European Hellenism and alternative ancient pasts of Italy. Moreover, as Cuoco co-opted Italian scholarship to bestow authority on his vision, a new relationship between classical scholars and national past emerged: scholars study, shape and preserve the nation's antiquity, but become at the same time, to an extent, themselves cultural patrimony.

020901 State Intervention and Holy Violence Timgad / Paleostrovsk / Waco
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
This paper has been revised. See 060901 entry.

JANUARY
010904 Horatian Lyric and the Vergilian Golden Age
A. T. Zanker, Princeton University
Abstract - Recent scholarship has focused on the way in which Horace avoids speaking of a returning golden age in his later poetry, even though Vergil had done precisely this in the sixth book of his epic. I argue that Horace realized that the concept was a problematic one; the golden ages constructed by the earlier tradition had been marked by characteristics that could never be achieved in reality. Horace therefore avoids the problematic terminology, instead defining the Augustan new age on his own terms.
This paper is now forthcoming in American Journal of Philology December 2010.
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.