WORKING PAPERS BY DATE - 2013

MAY
051301 Framing Portraits and Persons: the Small Herculaneum Woman statue type and the construction of identity
Jennifer Trimble, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper explores the framing of portraits of women in the second century CE through three examples of the so-called Small Herculaneum Woman statue type. Relevant juxtapositions include head and body, image and text, sculpture and setting, singularity and replication. Over the long histories of these portraits, their viewing frames have also changed drastically, reshaped by re-use, spoliage, damage or abandonment, colonialist archaeologies, and museum practices that now privilege a very modern, contemplative viewing of “art”.

051301 Corpore enormi: the rhetoric of physical appearance in Suetonius and imperial portrait statuary!
Jennifer Trimble, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper explores rhetorical constructions of what the Roman emperor looked like, focusing on the apparently irreconcilable descriptions in Suetonius’ Twelve Caesars and in imperial portrait statues of the same men.

051303 Reception theory and!Roman sculpture
Jennifer Trimble, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper considers four approaches to viewing and reception in relation to recent studies of Roman sculpture: historical reception as represented by Hans Robert Jauss, reception aesthetics as formulated by Wolfgang Iser, social historical studies of art, and approaches that focus on the power of images and viewers’ responses to that power. One goal is to show how different research questions involve different methods, focus on different evidence, and produce different results. Another goal is to argue that, although the historical/contextual study of Roman art has dominated the field since the 1970s and 80s, productive alternatives have also emerged.

APRIL
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.