WORKING PAPERS BY DATE - 2011

DECEMBER
121101 Weighted Expertise Aggregation: An Aristotelian middle way for epistemic democracy
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
> Abstract - Decision-making in an epistemic democracy takes into account not only citizens’ interests but also their knowledge about the world. The dominant epistemic approaches to democratic decision-making focus on aggregation of independent guesses and on deliberation, but neither offers a satisfactory means of decision-making that is at once time-sensitive and capable of setting agendas endogenously. Analysis of two passages by Aristotle points to a hybrid “middle way” that transcends these limitations. Weighted Expertise Aggregation (WEA) conjoins diverse forms of expertise in multiple domains through a time-sensitive process of deliberation and voting. WEA differs from a Condorcet jury in aggregating the marginal probability of correct judgments on domain- experts, rather than on the substance of complex issues. Although it requires procedurally competent voters who share common knowledge, WEA offers a realistic approach to decision-making in democratic organizations.
This paper replaced version 071102 originally posted in July 2011. It was revised in September 2012; please see 091201 entry.

OCTOBER
101101 Poetics of Repetition in the Frogs in the 'Frogs'
Andrew Ford, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: A reading of the parodos and the frog chorus of Frogs that argues they express a coherent, anthropologically inflected (and Aristophanic) view about the origins and nature of song. It is also argued that what we suppose to be distinct choruses of frogs and initiates are in fact one and the same. This study of comic lyric is a counterpart to my “’A Song to Match my Song’: Lyric Doubling in Euripides’ Helen,” in Allusion, Authority, and Truth: Critical Perspectives on Greek Poetic and Rhetorical Praxis, ed. P. Mitsis and C. Tsigalos (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010). See my Academia.edu.

SEPTEMBER
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.

091101 Who Are You? Africa and Africans
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - This is the third revised version of a chapter being prepared for the Whiley-Blackwell Companion to Ethnicity in the Ancient Mediterranean.
This paper replaces 081102 originally posted in August 2011.

AUGUST
081103 The Function of Criticism ca. 432 BC: Texts and interpretations in Plato’s 'Protagoras'
Andrew Ford, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: Plato’s Protagoras is a unique text in the history of criticism, the only extended example of practical poetic criticism that we have from classical Greece. This long passage (338E-347C) shows a group of fifth-century intellectual luminaries debating the meaning of a dense lyric poem by Simonides: the text is quoted at length and its language examined closely and methodically and wildly. My paper first attempts to pinpoint how this passage — often written off as a parody or a joke or misunderstood as a simplistic polemic against “sophistry” — fits into the work. I argue that Plato is more serious here than is usually supposed, and that the passage gives his best account of uses and limits of literary criticism. In a coda, I consider an analysis of the passage by Glenn Most, which suggests some reflections on recent developments in academic literary criticism.
This paper replaces 120501 originally posted in December 2005.

081102 Who Are You? Africa and Africans
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
This paper has been revised. See 091101 entry.

081101 Slavery in the Roman Provinces: North Africa
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - This is the second corrected draft of a piece being prepared for the Mainz Academy’s CD- ROM encyclopaedic reference work Handwörterbuch der antiken Sklaverei.
This paper replaces 051102 originally posted in May 2011.

JULY
071103 Points of Light: Reflections on Myth and History in the Shield of Aeneas
Andrew Feldherr, Princeton University
This paper has been removed at the request of the author.

071102 Weighted Expertise Aggregation: An Aristotelian middle way for epistemic democracy
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
This paper has been revised. See 121101 entry.

071101 Four Kinds of Dignity and Democracy
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
This paper has been revised. See 011201 entry.

JUNE
061101 Who Are You? Africans and Africa
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
This paper has been revised. See 081102 entry.

051102 Slavery in the Roman Provinces: North Africa
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
This paper has been revised. See 081101 entry.

051101 The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander
Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University and Antoinette Hayes, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
Download PDF Abstract: Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus, Justin, and other ancient historians report that rumors of poisoning arose after the death of Alexander in Babylon in 323 B.C. Alexander’s close friends suspected a legendary poison gathered from the River Styx in Arcadia, so corrosive that only the hoof of a horse could contain it. It’s impossible to know the real cause of Alexander’s death, but a recent toxicological discovery may help explain why some ancient observers believed that Alexander was murdered with Styx poison. We propose that the river harbored a killer bacterium that can occur on limestone rock deposits. This paper elaborates on our Poster presentation, Toxicological History Room, XII International Congress of Toxicology, Barcelona, 19-23 July 2010, and Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Washington DC, March 2011.
This paper replaces 091008 originally published in September 2010 and 071001 originally published in July 2010.

JANUARY
011101 Roman Callimachus forthcoming in B. Acosta Hughes and S. Stephens (eds.), The Brill Companion to Callimachus
Alessandro Barchiesi, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: A rehearsal of the influence and appropriation of Callimachus in Roman letters, intended as introductory reading for students and non-specialists. Includes short case-studies and exemplification, with an emphasis on the agendas, poetics, and rhetoric of Roman poets.