Working Papers by Department

Classics Department, Stanford University


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.

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.

091201 Relevant Expertise Aggregation: An Aristotelian middle way for epistemic democracy
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Decision-making in a democracy must respect democratic values, while advancing citizens’ interests. Decisions made in an epistemic democracy must also take into account relevant knowledge about the world. Neither aggregation of independent guesses nor deliberation, the standard approaches to epistemic democracy, offers a satisfactory theory of decision-making that is at once time-sensitive and capable of setting agendas endogenously. Analysis of passages by Aristotle and legislative process in ancient Athens points to a “middle way” that transcends those limitations. Relevant Expertise Aggregation (REA) offers an epistemic approach to decision-making in democratic organizations with minimally competent voters who share certain interests and knowledge. REA allows better choices among options to be made by basing choices on expertise in multiple relevant domains, through a time-sensitive process conjoining deliberation with voting. REA differs from a standard Condorcet jury in aggregating votes by relevant domains, based on reputations and arguments of domain-experts.
This paper replaces version 121101 posted in December 2011, version 071102 posted in July 2011, and version 090901 posted in September 2009.

081201 Thucydides as prospect theorist
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Opposing the tendency to read Thucydides as a strong realist, committed to a theory of behavior that assumes rationality as expected utility maximization, Ned Lebow and Clifford Orwin (among others) emphasize Thucydides’ attentiveness to deviations from rationality by individuals and states. This paper argues that Thucydides grasped the principles underlying contemporary prospect theory, which explains why people over-weight potential losses. Thucydides offers salient examples of excessive risk-aversion and excessive risk-seeking by decision-makers variously faced with high or low probabilities of losses or gains. Thucydides shows that leaders' rhetoric can limit or exacerbate the political effects of bias in risk assessment.

071202 Making Sense of “Nonsense” Inscriptions: Non-Greek Words Associated with Amazons and Scythians on Ancient Greek Vases
Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University; John Colarusso, McMaster University; and David Saunders, J. Paul Getty Museum
Download PDF Abstract: More than 2,000 “nonsense” inscriptions (meaningless strings of Greek letters) appear on ancient Greek vases. We ask whether some nonsense inscriptions and non- Greek words associated with figures of Scythians and Amazons represent meaningful sounds (phonemes) in foreign languages spoken in “Scythia” (Black Sea-Caucasus region). We analyze the linguistic patterns of nonsense inscriptions and non-Greek words on thirteen vases featuring Scythians and Amazons by otherwise literate vase painters (550-450 BC). Our results reveal that for the first time in more than two millennia, some puzzling inscriptions next to Scythians and Amazons can be deciphered as appropriate names and words in ancient forms of Iranian, Abkhazian, Circassian, Ubykh, and Georgian. These examples appear to be the earliest attestations of Caucasian and other “barbarian” tongues. This new linguistic approach to so-called nonsense inscriptions sheds light on Greco-Scythian relations, literacy, bilingualism, iconography, and ethnicity; it also raises questions for further study.
This paper replaces 031201 originally published in March 2012.

071201 Democracy's Dignity
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Dignity, as equal high standing characterized by non-humiliation and non- infantilization, is democracy’s third core value. Along with liberty and equality, it is a necessary condition for collective self-governance. Dignity enables robust exercise of liberty and equality while resisting both neglectful libertarianism and paternalistic egalitarianism. The civic dignity required for democracy is specified through a taxonomy of incompletely and fully moralized forms of dignity. Distinctive features of different regimes of dignity are modeled by simple games and illustrated by historical case studies. Unlike traditional meritocracy and universal human dignity, a civic dignity regime is theoretically stable in a population of self-interested social agents. It is real-world stable because citizens are predictably well motivated to defend those threatened with indignity and because they have resources for effective collective action against dignitary threats. Meritocracy and civic dignity are not inherently liberal, but may persist within a liberal democracy committed to universal human dignity.
This paper replaces version 011201 originaly posted in January 2012, and 071101 originally posted in July 2011.

041201 State revenue and expenditure in the Han and Roman empires
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Comparative analysis of the sources of income of the Han and Roman imperial states and of the ways in which these polities allocated state revenue reveals both similarities and differences. While it seems likely that the governments of both empires managed to capture a similar share of GDP, the Han state may have more heavily relied on direct taxation of agrarian output and people. By contrast, the mature Roman empire derived a large share of its income from domains and levies that concentrated on mining and trade. Collection of taxes on production probably fell far short of nominal rates. Han officialdom consistently absorbed more public spending than its Roman counterpart, whereas Roman rulers allocated a larger share of state revenue to agents drawn from the upper ruling class and to the military. This discrepancy was a function of different paths of state formation and may arguably have had long-term consequences beyond the fall of both empires.

031201 Making Sense of “Nonsense” Inscriptions: Non-Greek Words Associated with Amazons and Scythians on Ancient Greek Vases
Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University; John Colarusso, McMaster University; and David Saunders, J. Paul Getty Museum
Revised July 2012. See 071202 entry.

021206 Mixed capital: classicism in unexpected places
Grant Parker, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The reception of Greco-Roman antiquity in South Africa exhibits enormous variety. The current essay is an introduction to a proposed volume that explores as many aspects as possible. Several instances of South African classicism cluster around Cecil John Rhodes, but equally there is significant material involving people who have had little or no formal instruction in Latin or Greek.

021205 Against Ornament: O.M. Freidenberg’s Concept of Metaphor in Ancient and Modern Contexts
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Application of the neglected developmental theories of Olga M. Freidenberg (regarding “metaphorization”) to the poetry of Pindar. Originally delivered at a conference on Historical Poetics (Chicago, May 2011), it will appear in a revised version in the proceedings of that event.

021204 The Myth before the Myth Began
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: An extension of earlier studies on the semantics of muthos, with attention to the language and perspectives of early Greek mythographers. Various mediated forms of story-telling about the mythical and historical past, orally and in written form, are examined. [Forthcoming, Proceedings of UCLA Conference on Mythography (April 2009) http://www.cmrs.ucla.edu/programs/conference_myth_program.html ]

021203 Distant Landmarks: Homer and Hesiod
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The techniques of the Hellenistic epic poem as seen from the perspective of archaic Greek poetry. A revised version of this essay will appear in the Cambridge Companion to Apollonius (edit J. Murray and C. Schroeder).

021202 Apolo, el ejecutante
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Originally a talk delivered at the colloquium Mito y Performance (De Grecia a la Modernidad) at the University of La Plata, Argentina (June 2009), this paper explores the relationship between the Homeric hymns to Hermes and Apollo regarding the representation of their respective protagonists as players of the kithara or lyre. The ideology of the mousikoi agones at Delphi and in the Athenian Panathenaia are found to underlie these images. The paper has now been published in the volume Mito y performance edit. A.M. González de Tobia et al. (La Plata, 2009).

021201 Le Silence au pays du Mythos
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: An analysis of words for sound and for silence leads to close reading of a number of passages in Pindar, followed by new suggestions for reading controverted passages in Nemean 7. This paper was given at the colloquium Sagesse et silence at the Sorbonne in June 2011 and will appear in a volume resulting from that event.

011203 Writing Alexandria as the (Common)place
Susan Stephens, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The interactions between Greece and the East in fictional narrative remains problematic, because however scrupulous our attempts to disambiguate the 'Greece' interacting with the East, or to insist on Greek regional and temporal pluralities, the simple fact of one language versus many undercuts good intentions. Anyone writing in Greek (whatever his native language, cultural traditions, or time of composition) must have had a Greek education. This means exposure to and de facto absorption of the same but quite limited number of texts and the values thus encoded. As a result, a more or less unified set of assumptions are attached to writing a narrative in Greek -- whether we want to imagine this as a full-blown paideia, or simply an inevitable cultural shorthand. If we shift our focus to a non-Greek perspetive, a more useful question might be: what aspects of our non-Greek partners within the contact zone appear in Greek narratives (writ large), and to what extent are these narratives typical of the narrqtive foctions of that partner? In what follows I pursue this line of thought with focus on one 'East' -- Egypt -- by considering first how Egyptians represent themselves in their own fictions before discussing the intricate levels of reception of these Egyptians within the milieux of Greek writing from Herodotus to the novels.

011202 Writing Alexandria as the (Common)place
Susan Stephens, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In 333 BC Alexandria did not exist. The transition from a place devoid of cultural significance (for Greeks) to the first city of the Mediterranean was not just a matter of a few buildings or some Greek immigrants. The making of place is central to the process of identity formation, which is in turn integral to the construction of social orer. Place-making requires a sense of shared and evolving history—a past, present, and future that is commonly encoded in genealogies; investment in common myths and rituals; and social hierarchies that both inform and are informed by the specific landscape. For this process of place-making, it follows that poets would play an important role both as repositories for, and as artificers of, cultural memory. This paper discusses how Callimachus helps to create the cultural memory of ancient Alexandria in this poetry.

011201 Democracy's Dignity
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
This paper has been revised. See 071201 entry.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

111001 Identity Theft: Masquerades and Impersonations in the Contemporary Books of Cassius Dio
Maud W. Gleason, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The contemporary books of Cassius Dio’s Roman History are known (to the extent that they are read) for their anecdotal quality and lack of interpretive sophistication. This paper aims to recuperate another layer of meaning for Dio’s anecdotes by examining episodes in his contemporary books that feature masquerades and impersonation. It suggests that these themes owe their prominence to political conditions in Dio’s lifetime, particularly the revival, after a hundred-year lapse, of usurpation and damnatio memoriae, practices that rendered personal identity problematic. The central claim is that narratives in Dio’s last books use masquerades and impersonation to explore paradoxes of personal identity and signification, issues made salient by abrupt changes of social position at the highest levels of imperial society.
This paper replaces (110901) originally published in November 2009. It has now been published in Classical Antiquity 30 (2011), pp. 33-86.

091008 The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander
Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University
Revised May 2011. See 051101 entry.

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.

071001 The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander
Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University
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 BC. 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.

061001 Sweating Truth in Ancient Carthage
Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Richard Miles’s Carthage Must Be Destroyed (2010) justifies a new look at Gustave Flaubert’s controversial novel Salammbô (1862). An abridged version of this essay appeared as “Pacesetter,” London Review of Books 32 (June 2010): 30-31.

051002 CHAPTER 1 of The City-State Commensurate: Plato and Pythagorean Political Philosophy: “Aristotle’s Description of Mathematical Pythagoreanism in the 4th Century BCE”
Philip Sidney Horky, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Scholars of the history of ancient philosophy have been hesitant to attribute particular characteristics to those Pythagoreans called “mathematical” by Aristotle. Aristotle himself,to be sure, not only felt it important to distinguish this type of Pythagorean from the more traditional “acousmatic” type, but he also invested in this distinction the basic tenets of his own philosophical methodology regarding the pursuit of knowledge from first principles. In this chapter, I describe the philosophical system (pragmateia) of the mathematical Pythagoreans by analyzing and comparing the accounts of Pythagoreanism in both the surviving treatises of Aristotle (especially Metaphysics) and the fragmentary works on the Pythagoreans preserved in Iamblichus’ On the General Mathematical Science and On the Pythagorean Way of Life. This is the newest version of the first chapter of a book-length study in which I describe the philosophical and political history of the mathematical Pythagoreans and their influence on Plato’s later thought.

051001 Wealthy Hellas
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - When it is compared to other premodern societies, ihe Greek world, in 800-300 BC, was prosperous. The Greek economy grew (both in the aggregate and per capita) at a hight rate by premodern standards (although growth was feeble by modern standards). By the fourth century BC Hellas was comparatively densely populated and highly urbanized. Incomes of working people were high (at least in Athens) and wealth and income were distributed relatively equitably. Comparatively strong Greek economic performance is the context for the development archaic/classical Greek culture. Exceptional Greek economic performance may be explained in part by “rule egalitariansim” (leading to greater investment in human capital and lower transaction costs) and by continuous institutional innovation (the result of inter-state competition and learning).

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.

021002 'Epideixis' versus elenchus: The epirrhematic agon and the politics of Aristophanes’ 'Frogs'
Foivos Karachalios, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper proposes a particular interpretation of the epirrhematic agon between Euripides and Aeschylus in Aristophanes’ Frogs, namely that Euripides’ epirrheme constitutes a rhetorical display (epideixis), whereas Aeschylus’ involves a question-and-answer approach with elements that resemble the Socratic elenchus. This interpretation is then employed toward a broader understanding of the politics of this play, including the final judgment of Dionysus. I argue that Euripides is consistently depicted as a disruptive force in the life of the community in both cultural and political terms, so that his eventual rejection signifies concern for communal cohesion in a time of crisis for Athens.

021001 The instrumental value of others and institutional change: An Athenian case study
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - A primary motive for certain Athenian rule changes in the direction of increased legal access and impartiality in the fourth century B.C. was Athenian awareness of the increased instrumental value of foreigners. New Athenian rules were aimed at persuading foreigners to do business in Athens. Foreigners gained greater access to some Athenian institutions, and fairness, in the sense of impartiality, was more evident in some forms of legal decision-making. These new rules appear to have worked; Athens became more prosperous by the later fourth century, at least in part because foreigners liked the new rules and so did more business there. Because increased access and impartiality were not prompted by a changed Athenian approach to the ends/means distinction, a Kantian deontologist would deny that the new rules made Athens a better place. A consequentialist might disagree. Written for a Leiden/Penn collection of essays on “Valuing Others,” in progress, edited by R. Rosen and I. Sluiter.

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.

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

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

090802 Causes and Cases. On the Aetiologies of Aetiological Elegies
Christian Kaesser, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The paper examines why at the beginning of Callimachus’ Aitia, in Propertius 4.1, and more indirectly in the proem to Ovid’s Fasti there appear literary critics (the Telchines, Horus, and Augustus), who charge the aetiological poet for the quality of his work. It points out that these charges, when translated into Greek, are aitiai, and that the poets’ defenses, when translated into Latin, are causae. It argues that the function of these proems is to present the poet as the cause of his poem. It is also interested in the way Propertius and Ovid adapt Callimachus’ Greek conceit to the different cultural and linguistic context of Rome.

100801 The Mole on the Face. Erotic Rhetoric in Ovid’s "Amores"
Christian Kaesser, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The paper examines the role of formal rhetoric in Ovid’s Amores. It points out that while in modern aesthetics the experience of art is dissociated from the experience of love and sex, the ancients had developed an erotic aesthetics that associated the two. Recalling the metaphor that describes a text as a body and the ancient view according to which rhetoric could make a text appealing just like cosmetics could a real body, it argues that Ovid uses formal rhetoric to inspire in his readers desire for his text. The appearance of voluptas in the epigram to Amores 1 confirms this view. It also suggests that the eroticization of Ovid’s text resonates within the contemporary political situation in Rome, where sex had become a matter of politics.

070801 Making Space for Bicultural Identity: Herodes Atticus Commemorates Regilla
Maud W. Gleason, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Herodes and Regilla built a number of installations during their marriage, some of which represented their union in spatial terms. After Regilla died, Herodes reconfigured two of these structures, altering their meanings with inscriptions to represent the marriage retrospectively. This paper considers the implications of these commemorative installations for Herodes’ sense of cultural identity.
This paper has now been published in Local Knowledge and Microidentities in the Imperial Greek World (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

060809 Human capital and the growth of the Roman economy
Richard Saller, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Over the past 50 years economists have increasingly emphasized investment in human capital as a fundamental cause of sustained economic growth, because investments in education, training and health make the labor force more productive. This paper examines Roman education and training, and argues that Roman investment in human capital was higher in the early empire that at any time in Europe before 1500 CE, but noticeably lower than in the fastest growing economies of the early modern era (e.g., the Netherlands).

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.
020805 Modern histories of ancient Greece: genealogies, contexts and eighteenth-century narrative historiography
Giovanna Ceserani, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This essay is a response to Aleka Lianeri's call to reflect on how encounters with antiquity were foundational to modern categories of historiography, by exploring both the idea of the historical and the discipline's concepts and practices. In taking up such questions I chose to focus on the earliest modern narrative histories of ancient Greece, written at the beginning of the eighteenth century. I examine these works' wider contexts and singular features as well as their reception in the discipline. I argue for the formative role of this moment for modern historiography. Although they were often dismissed as simple narratives, these early modern works provided later historians with a sense of their own modernity. These texts prefigured modern narrative historiography's relationship of simultaneous dependence and independence from its ancient models.

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
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 were very low.

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.

120701 Footrace, Dance, and Desire: The χορός of Danaids in Pindar’s Pythian 9
Micah Y. Myers, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper offers a new interpretation of Pindar’s Pythian 9.112-16, which relates the story of Danaos marrying off his forty-eight daughters. Previously, these lines have been understood as describing a footrace by the daughter’s suitors to determine which suitor would marry which daughter. By reanalyzing Pindar’s diction I suggest that this passage also depicts Danaos’ daughters in the marked terms of choral performance. This interpretation not only matches the representation of the Danaids as a performing chorus in Phyrnicus’ Danaids and Aeschylus’ Suppliants, but it also further illuminates the way desire permeates and organizes this particular Pindaric ode.
This paper replaces version 1 (080702) originally posted in August 2007.
This paper has been published as follows: Myers, M. (2007) “Footrace, Dance, and Desire: The χορός of Danaids in Pindar’s Pythian 9.” SIFC 5.2: 230-47.

110703 Counting Romans
Saskia Hin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This article focuses on the debate about the size of the population of Roman Italy. I point at logical inconsistencies related to the dominant view that the Republican census tallies are meant to report all adult males. I argue instead that the figures stemming from the Republican census may represent adult men sui iuris and suggest that those of the Augustan censuses include all citizens sui iuris regardless of age and sex. This implies a population size under Augustus which falls between those suggested by ‘high counters’ and ‘low counters’. Since the share of free citizens enumerated as sui iuris was further affected by various historical phenomena a range of intermediate scenarios or ‘middle counts’ is perceivable. However, such factors as affect the multiplier all pull in the same downward direction. Therefore, it is likely that the number of people inhabiting Roman Italy in Augustan times was closer to that suggested by the ‘low count’ than to that implied by the ‘high count’.

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.

100704 Family matters: Economy, culture and biology: fertility and its constraints in Roman Italy
Saskia Hin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This article approaches the phenomenon of fertility in Roman Italy from a range of perspectives. Building on anthropological and economic theory, sociology and human evolutionary ecology various processes that affect fertility patterns by influencing human behaviour are set out. The insights provided by these disciplines offer valuable tools for our understanding of fertility in the ancient world, and enable assessment of the likelihood of historical demographic scenarios proffered. On their basis, I argue that there is little force in the argument that attributes a perceived demographic decline during the Late Roman Republic to a drop in fertility levels amongst the mass of the Roman population.

100703 Communal Agriculture in the Ptolemaic and Roman Fayyum
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The article presents the model that rising demand for land drives the process of privatization. It likens ancient developments in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt to similar trends towards privatization in nineteenth-century Egypt. Given the difficulty imposed by the ancient evidence for tracing changes over time, it concentrates on observable regional variations that conform to the model. Differences in population density seem to correlate with differences in agrarian institutions. There are especially good data for tenure on public land in Roman Egypt, so this period is treated in more detail. In the more sparsely populated Fayyum, communal peasant institutions remained important for the cultivation of public land just as they were in the Ptolemaic period. In the Nile Valley, by contrast, private landowners encroached on public land by having it registered into their names and treating it more like private property.
This paper has now been published in "Communal Agriculture in the Ptolemaic and Roman Fayyum" S.L. Lippert and M. Schentuleit (eds.), Graeco-Roman Fayum: Texts and Archaeology. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008, pp. 173-86.

100702 Army and Egyptian temple building under the Ptolemies
Christelle Fischer-Bovet, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This paper examines building dedications to Egyptian gods that reveal the interplay between the military and state financing of Egyptian temples. I propose a new model of financing Egyptian temple building with the army as a source of private and local funding. I argue that officers or soldiers stationed in garrisons and soldier-priests were used as supervisors of temple construction for the king and even financed part of it to complement royal and temple funds. Three main conclusions emerge. First, the rather late date of our evidence confirms that temple building was increasingly sponsored by private and semiprivate funding and suggests that the army’s functions were becoming more diverse. Second, Egyptians were integrated in the army and soldiers were integrated into the local elite. Third, the formation of a local elite made of Greek and Egyptian soldiers acting for the local gods challenges the idea of professional and ethnic divisions.

100701 Counting the Greeks in Egypt: Immigration in the first century of Ptolemaic rule
Christelle Fischer-Bovet, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This paper presents the data and the methods available to estimate the number of Greeks immigrating and settling in Ptolemaic Egypt. I shall argue that the evaluations generally proposed (10% of Greeks) are too high and the flow of immigration implicitly expected too regular. The new calculations demonstrate that we should rather consider 5% of Greeks in Egypt. I use four independent methods to evaluate the number of Greeks based on an estimation of the number of: (1) Greek soldiers fighting at Raphia (217 BC); (2) Macedonian soldiers settled in Egypt; (3) cavalry men granted with land; (4) adult Greek males living in the Fayyum. The first three methods focus on soldiers while the fourth one provides us with a mathematical model for evaluating both Greek military and civilian settlers. These demographic revisions refine our analysis of the socio-economic and cultural interactions between the different groups of population.

090704 The original meaning of “democracy”: Capacity to do things, not majority rule.
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - That the original meaning of democracy is “capacity to do things” not “majority rule” emerges from a study of the fifth and fourth century B.C. Greek vocabulary for regime-types. Special attention is given to –kratos root and –arche root terms. Paper delivered at the American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, 2006.

090703 What the Ancient Greeks Can Tell Us About Democracy
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The question of what the ancient Greeks can tell us about democracy can be answered by reference to three fields that have traditionally been pursued with little reference to one another: ancient history, classical political theory, and political science. These fields have been coming into more fruitful contact over the last 20 years, as evidenced by a spate of interdisciplinary work. Historians, political theorists, and political scientists interested in classical Greek democracy are increasingly capable of leveraging results across disciplinary lines. As a result, the classical Greek experience has more to tell us about the origins and definition of democracy, and about the relationship between participatory democracy and formal institutions, rhetoric, civic identity, political values, political criticism, war, economy, culture, and religion.
Forthcoming in Annual Reviews in Political Science 2007

090702 Athenian Military Performance in the Archidamian War: Thucydides on Democracy and Knowledge
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
> Abstract - Athenian military success in the Archidamian war is attributed by the Corinthians in book 1 of Thucydides to an inherent national character. Although the Athenians do manifest the characteristics of agility, speed, and common-good seeking that the Corinthians attribute to the Athenians, the source of Athenian exceptionalism is better sought in the development of democratic institutions and associated patterns of behavior. Athens did well in military operations because of its superior management of useful knowledge. Likewise, breakdown in knowledge management is a key reason for Athenian military failures in the latter part of the war.
This has been replaced by paper 080901. To appear in a volume on "Democracy and Greek Warfare," edited by David Pritchard

090701 Pharaonic Egypt and the Ara Pacis in Augustan Rome
Jennifer Trimble, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper explores processes of cultural appropriation, and specifically Augustan visual receptions of pharaonic Egypt. As a test case, I consider the possibility of Egyptianizing precedents for the Ara Pacis, including the architecture of Middle and New Kingdom jubilee chapels. This requires looking at the Augustan interventions into the traditional temple complexes of Egypt, the transmission of imperial ideas about pharaonic Egypt to Rome, their uses there, and the role of pharaonic appropriations within a broader landscape of Aegyptiaca in Rome.

080702 Footrace, Dance, and Desire: The χορός of Danaids in Pindar’s Pythian 9
Micah Y. Myers, Stanford University
Revised December 2007. See entry 120701.

080701 Rule and Revenue in Egypt and Rome: Political Stability and Fiscal Institutions
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper investigates what determines fiscal institutions and the burden of taxation using a case study from ancient history. It evaluates Levi’s model of taxation in the Roman Republic, according to which rulers’ high discount rates in periods of political instability encourage them to adopt a more predatory fiscal regime. The evidence for fiscal reform in the transition from the Republic to the Principate seems to support her hypothesis but remains a matter of debate among historians. Egypt’s transition from a Hellenistic kingdom to a Roman province under the Principate provides an analogous case for which there are better data. The Egyptian evidence shows a correlation between rulers’ discount rates and fiscal regimes that is consistent with Levi’s hypothesis.
This paper has now been published in "Rule and Revenue in Egypt and Rome: Political Stability and Fiscal Institutions." Special Issue: New Political Economy in History. Historical Social Research 32/4 (2007), pp. 252-74.

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.

070705 Narratives of Roman Syria: a historiography of Syria as a province of Rome
Lidewijde de Jong, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: In this paper I examine the scholarship of Roman Syria and the history of research on this province. The scholarly narrative of Roman Syria revolves around strong Greek influence and little impact of Roman rule, which has resulted in studying Syria as a unique and distinct entity, separated from Rome. In light of new archaeological finds and a re-evaluation of older evidence, I argue that these assumptions of deep hellenization and shallow Roman impact need to be abandoned. Using models coming out of research in other provinces of the Roman empire and anthropological studies of colonialism and material culture, I propose a set of different narratives about Roman Syria. This paper is the first chapter of my dissertation: Becoming a Roman province: An analysis of funerary practices in Roman Syria in the context of empire.

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.

050703 Literary Quarrels
Susan Stephens, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Scholars have long noted Platonic elements or allusions in Callimachus' poems, particularly in the Aetia prologue and the 13th Iambus that center on poetic composition. Following up on their work, Benjamin Acosta-Hughes and Susan Stephens, in a recent panel at the APA, and in papers that are about to appear in Callimachea II. Atti della seconda giornata di studi su Callimaco (Rome: Herder), have argued not for occasional allusions, but for a much more extensive influence from the Phaedo and Phaedrus in the Aetia prologue (Acosta-Hughes) and the Protagoras, Ion, and Phaedrus in the Iambi (Stephens). These papers are part of a preliminary study to reformulate Callimachus' aesthetic theory. Included herein is Benjamin Acosta-Hughes' "The Cicala's Song: Plato in the Aetia."

050702 Remapping the Mediterranean: The Argo adventure Apollonius and Callimachus
Susan Stephens, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper was written for Culture in Pieces, a Festschrift in honor of Peter Parsons. Callimachus and Apollonius were poets writing in Alexandria, a newly established Greek city on the north east coast of Africa that lacked defining narratives of space, indigenous gods and heroes, or founding families. I argue that both poets turned to the legend of the Argonauts to link Libya and Egypt with Greece as a strategy in crafting a legitimating myth for the Ptolemaic occupation of Egypt. The textual argument focuses on the gift of a clod of Libyan earth to one of the Argonauts in Pindar’s Pythian 4 and at end of the Argonautica, and the Argonaut fragments at the beginning of Callimachus’ Aetia.

050701 Read on Arrival
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The poetics of traveling poets are analyzed with the help of evidence from Greece (6thc BCE to 6th c CE), West Africa, and Ireland. A detailed explication of Aristophanes Birds 904-957 is used to explore further the tropes used by bards and rules of interaction with poeti vaganti. The Lives of Homer tradition is shown to match up with descriptions of cognate poetic performances (Greek and other) in this regard.
This paper has now been published in The Wandering Poets of Ancient Greece, R. Hunter and I. Rutherford (eds.). Cambridge, 2009.

040701 Golden Verses: Voice and Authority in the Tablets
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This paper attempts to read the gold “Orphic” tablets found in tombs from Thessaly to Sicily against the background of Homeric epic. It introduces the notion of “speech type-scene” and draws conclusions, from the deployment of formulae and pragmatic situations, about the “voice” one is supposed to hear behind the tablet texts. It was originally delivered as a paper at the Ohio State University conference Ritual Texts for the Afterlife (April 2006), organized by Fritz Graf and Sarah Iles-Johnston.

030701 A Narrator of Wisdom. Characterization through gnomai in Achilles Tatius.
Koen De Temmerman, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This paper contributes to the study of characterization in Achilles Tatius by offering an analysis of the many gnomai or “wisdom sayings” in this ancient Greek novel. After having illustrated the importance of gnomai in literary characterization with some examples from the text, I argue that a close reading of the gnomai in Clitophon’s narrator text and character text raises questions about Clitophon’s reliability as a narrator. Whereas Clitophon uses gnomai to portray himself as an expert in erotic affairs before his narratee in Sidon, the gnomai used by the protagonist and other characters within the story suggest that, as a character in his own story, Clitophon does not assume the authoritative position that he claims to have in this field.

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.

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 revised paper replaces Version 1.0 posted in February 2006.
This paper has been published in Historia 56 (2007) 332-346.

010704 Royal Land in Ptolemaic Egypt: A Demographic Model
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Studies of Ptolemaic agrarian history have focused on the nature of state ownership. Recent work has emphasized the regional differences between the Fayyum, where royal land was prevalent, and Upper Egypt, where private land rights were already established. This study proposes a demographic model that regards communal rights on royal land as an adaptation to risk and links privatization with population pressure. These correlations and their reflection in Demotic and Greek land survey data raise doubts about the common view that patterns of tenure on royal land in the Fayyum can be attributed to more intensive state control over this region than the Nile Valley. Version 2.0 is substantially revised and replaces the earlier version 050602.
This paper has now been published in "Royal Land in Ptolemaic Egypt: A Demographic Model." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 50/4 (2007), pp. 363-97.

010705 An Early Ptolemaic Land Survey in Demotic: P. Cair. II 31073
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Abstract - This paper provides a preliminary edition of an early Ptolemaic land survey from the southern Fayyum and related accounts. Although photographs and a brief description were included in the Cairo catalogue of Demotic papyri in 1908, it has never been edited or fully discussed. The text furnishes valuable data about land tenure, agriculture, and taxation, especially on royal land. This version is meant to provide a basis for further discussion until the edition is complete. Version 2.0 includes revisions to the dating, overview, and some readings in the text, superceding the earlier version. This version replaces 050606.
This paper has now been published in A. Monson (2012). Agriculture and Taxation in Early Ptolemaic Egypt: Demotic Land Surveys and Accounts. PTA 46. Bonn: Habelt Verlag.

010702 Shock and Awe: The Performance Dimension of Galen’s Anatomy Demonstrations
Maud W. Gleason, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Galen’s anatomical demonstrations on living animals constitute a justly famous chapter in the history of scientific method. This essay, however, examines them as a social phenomenon. Galen’s demonstrations were competitive. Their visual, cognitive and emotional impact (often expressed by compounds of ѳαῦμα and ἔκπληξις) reduced onlookers to gaping amazement. This impact enhanced the logical force of Galen’s arguments, compelling competitors to acknowlege his intellectual and technical preeminence. Thus, on the interpersonal level, Galen’s demonstrations functioned coercively. On the philosophical level, Galen was using a rhetoric traditional to Greek science, a way of arguing that involved a unitary view of nature and an emphasis on homology between animals and man. But he was also using a rhetoric of power and status differentiation articulated via the body. As played out in the flesh, public vivisection resonated with other cultural practices of the Roman empire: wonder-working competitions, judicial trials, and ampitheater entertainment.
This paper has now been published as "Galen's Anatomical Performances" in C. Gill, T. Whitmarsh, J. Wilkins, eds. Galen and the World of Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

120603 Coinage as ‘Code’ in Ptolemaic Egypt
JG Manning, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In this paper I survey the use of money in Ptolemaic Egypt with a particular focus on the introduction of coinage by the Ptolemies. I draw connections between monetization of the economy with other institutional reforms, especially as they concern the legal reforms of Ptolemy II. The paper will appear in a volume on money edited by William Harris. (This is revision 1.3 replacing 040602 entry.)

120602 Aristotle's Metaphysics M3: realism and the philosophy of QUA
Reviel Netz, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The article provides a new translation and interpretation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics M3, arguing that Aristotle uses there the QUA as a perspective of intellectual action: an operator on actions rather than a filter on objects. Instead of Aristotle’s mathematics being a science of “Objects QUA mathematical”, we should consider it as a science whose manner of action is “QUA mathematical”. A discussion follows as to Aristotle’s view that his QUA account salvages a realist reading of mathematics without invoking special mathematical objects. This view depends on the deceptively compelling assumption that a statement which is true QUA X is also true simpliciter. If this assumption is false – as I believe the experience of modern science suggests – then Aristotle was wrong and we must indeed either deny the reality of mathematics, or invoke special mathematical objects.

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.

070604 Natural Capacities and Democracy as a Good-in-Itself
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - A paper on moral and political philosophy, arguing on Aristotelian grounds, that democracy is not only an instrumental good, but a good-in-itself for humans, because the exercise of constitutive natural capacities is and end, necessary for true happiness (understood as eudaimonia), and democracy (understood as association in decision) is a constitutive natural human capacity of humans. Forthcoming, winter 2006 in Philosophical Studies.

070603 From epistemic diversity to common knowledge: Rational rituals and publicity in democratic Athens.
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Effective organization of knowledge allows democracies to meet Darwinian challenges, and thus avoid elimination by more hierarchical rivals. Institutional processes capable of aggregating diverse knowledge and coordinating action promote the flourishing of democratic communities in competitive environments. Institutions that increase the credibility of commitments and build common knowledge are key aspects of democratic coordination. “Rational rituals,” through which credible commitments and common knowledge are effectively publicized, were prevalent in democratic Athens. Analysis of parts of Lycurgus’ speech Against Leocrates reveals some key features of the how rational rituals worked to build common knowledge in Athens. This paper, adapted from a book-in-progess, is fortthcoming in the journal Episteme.

070602 Socrates and democratic Athens: The story of the trial in its historical and legal contexts.
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Socrates was both a loyal citizen (by his own lights) and a critic of the democratic community’s way of doing things. This led to a crisis in 339 B.C. In order to understand Socrates’ and the Athenian community’s actions (as reported by Plato and Xenophon) it is necessary to understand the historical and legal contexts, the democratic state’s commitment to the notion that citizens are resonsible for the effects of their actions, and Socrates’ reasons for preferring to live in Athens rather than in states that might (by his lights) have had substantively better legal systems. Written for the Cambridge Companion to Socrates.

060602 Carmina: Odes and Carmen Saeculare forthcoming in S. Harrison (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Horace, Cambridge 2007
Alessandro Barchiesi, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This is obviously a generalizing piece, not a research paper, but Horace is frequently taught at college level, so I offer it as an anticipation of the new Companion, and as an attempt to summarize some of the most recurring problems about Horace and the genre of Roman Lyric (if indeed there was a genre).

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.

050605 An Early Ptolemaic Land Survey in Demotic: P. Cair. II 31073
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper provides a preliminary edition of an early Ptolemaic land survey from the southern Fayyum and related accounts. Although photographs and a brief description were included in the Cairo catalogue of Demotic papyri in 1908, it has never been edited or fully discussed. The text furnishes valuable data about land tenure, agriculture, and taxation, especially on royal land. This version is meant to provide a basis for further discussion until the edition is complete.

050604 The Ptolemaic economy, institutions, economic integration, and the limits of centralized political power
JG Manning, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In this paper I discuss the relationship between the Ptolemaic state and economic development. My approach is informed by New Institutional Economics (NIE) and also by insights offered by Economic Sociology. I argue that the incentive structures that the Ptolemies established probably did not allow sustainable, or aggregate, economic growth despite important new fiscal institutions, some capital investment in new agricultural areas, and the possibility of new technology. I begin with a discussion of institutions and the Ptolemaic state, and move on to discuss, briefly, developments and the structure of the economy, before ending with an examination of the land tenure regime and how it relates to performance. (This revised paper replaces Version 1.0 posted in April 2005.)

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. (NB: This revised 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.

050602 Royal Land in Ptolemaic Egypt: A Demographic Model
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The agrarian history of Ptolemaic Egypt has focused on the nature of state ownership and the evolution of private land rights. Recent work has emphasized the regional differences between the Fayyum, where royal land was prevalent, and Upper Egypt, where private land rights were already established. This paper proposes a demographic model that regards communal rights on royal land as an adaptation to risk and links privatization with population pressure. These correlations and their reflection in Demotic and Greek land survey data raise doubts about the consensus view that patterns of tenure on royal land in the Fayyum can be attributed to more intensive state control over this region than the Nile Valley.

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.

040602 Coinage as ‘Code’ in Ptolemaic Egypt
JG Manning, Stanford University
This paper has been revised. Please see the 120603 entry.

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.

030603 Texts, contexts, subtexts and interpretative frameworks. Beyond the parochial and toward (dynamic) modeling of the Ptolemaic state and the Ptolemaic economy
JG Manning, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - My concern in this paper is the historical interpretation of the Greek and demotic documentary papyri of the Ptolemaic period, the role of Archaeology in the context of Ptolemaic economic history, and the application of social science theory towards an understanding of Ptolemaic Egypt.

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’.

010603 Going with the Grain: Athenian State Formation and the Question of Subsistence in the 5th and 4th Centuries BCE
Ulrike Krotscheck, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: In this paper, I address the role of Athenian grain trade policy as a driving factor of the city’s growing power in the 5th and 4th centuries. Recent explanations of increasing Athenian hegemony and dominance over other poleis during this time period have focused on the role of warfare. I present an equally important, yet often-overlooked factor: food supply. Athens was dependent on grain imports throughout the Classical Period. Through examination of the ancient sources, I demonstrate that the increasing need to secure subsistence goods for Athens significantly propelled its ambition for power, causing a fundamental shift from a non- interventionist government policy to one of heavy intervention between the 5th and the 4th centuries BCE. This shift corresponded to an increasing complexity within the mechanisms of the city’s politics. It helped propel Athenian state formation and affected the dynamic of power and politics in the ancient Mediterranean world.

120519 Music for Monsters: Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Bucolic Evolution, and Bucolic Criticism
Alessandro Barchiesi, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The paper has been written for a collection whose aim is charting the entire development of a genre, pastoral or bucolic poetry, throughout Graeco-Roman antiquity. My discussion complements studies of poems that can be labelled ‘bucolic’ or ‘pastoral’ through an external vantage point: the perception of bucolic and pastoral in the perspective offered by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a maverick, bulimic epic poem, a poem in which many traces of other genres can be identified and everything undergoes a transformation of some sort. The examination of some individual episodes in the epic suggests ways in which the bucolic/pastoral tradition is being reconsidered, but also challenged and criticized from specific Roman viewpoints, not without satiric undertones.

120517 Arrian the Personal Historian
Kyle Lakin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Current scholarship ignores the personal nature of the second preface of Arrian's Anabasis. This preface reveals that the Anabasis can be read as a work about Arrian's own personal identity. Arrian's biographical history allows us to speculate that his identity was in flux throughout his life. By understanding the Anabasis as Arrian's way to claim to be a Greek, we can better interpret his characterization of Alexander.

120516 Legal Pluralism in Archaic Greece
Kyle Lakin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The theory of legal pluralism argues that law's function in modern society must be understood as a negotiation between different sets of legal orders operating simultaneously. This paper argues that archaic Greece, too, was a legally plural society and explores two negotiations as evidence: 1) the relationship between Drakon's murder law and the procedure of blood-money negotiation; 2) the Gortyn Law Code and oath-trials.

120512 The Palaikastro Hymn and the modern myth of the Cretan Zeus
Mark Alonge, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The Palaikastro Hymn—better known as the Hymn of the Kouretes—does not celebrate a god of pre-Hellenic pedigree, who is Zeus in name only, as scholars have believed with virtual unanimity. Rather, an understanding of the conventions of Greek hymnic performance in its ritual context goes far to elucidating many of the ostensibly peculiar features of the Hymn. Moving out from Palaikastro, in eastern Crete, to survey the island as a whole, I show that the Cretan iconographic and epigraphic records contradict the widely accepted theory of a special, Minoan “Cretan Zeus.”

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.

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.

110511 The Ethics and Economics of Ptolemaic Religious Associations
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper considers the economic status of the members in Ptolemaic religious associations and offers a model to explain why they participated. Drawing on Charles Tilly’s comparative study of trust networks, I suggest that religious associations institutionalized informal ethical norms into formal rules that lowered the costs of transacting and facilitated cooperation among villagers. The rules related to legal disputes illustrate how associations exercised this power and even tried to prevent the Ptolemaic state from intruding in their network. NB: This has been published in Ancient Society 36 (2006), 221-238.

100501 Egyptian grain transport
JG Manning, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - I review here a recent publication of a papyrus document dating to the Ramesside period concerning the transportation of grain.

050503 The Voices of Jocasta
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The poem contained in the Lille Stesichorus papyrus presents several features that can be usefully compared with aspects of characterization and theme in the Oedipus Tyrannos of Sophocles. If we assume that an Athenian audience in the later 5th century knew the Stesichorean composition, the dramatic choices made by Sophocles take on new meaning. This paper is forthcoming in the proceedings of the International Conference on Ancient Drama held at Delphi, Greece (July 2002).
This paper has now been published as "Stesichorus and the Voice of Jocasta Theatre and Performance Culture" in Proceedings of the 11th International Meeting on Ancient Greek Drama, (2002: The Theban Cycle). Delphi: The European Cultural Center, 2007.

050502 Gnomes in Poems: Wisdom Performance on the Athenian Stage
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: An ethnography-of speaking-approach to proverb-use lets us explore the deployment of this genre as part of personal self-projection and of social life. Greek drama, by presenting proverbs in the mouths of its staged characters, makes use of the ordinary performance value of this “genre of speaking” while constructing a broader theatrical event. Characters can be judged on the basis of their skill at proverb-use, and important junctures in the plays can be marked by the employment of gnômai. Resistance to proverbs, and misuse of the genre (whether or not intentional) further mark speakers. This paper will appear in the Festschrift for John Papademetriou.
This paper has now been published in Antiphílesis: Studies on Classical, Byzantine and Modern Greek Literature and Culture, E. Karamalengou and E.D. Makrygianni (eds.). In Honour of Professor John-Theophanes A. Papademetriou. Stuttgart: Steiner. 2009, pp. 116-27.

050501 Land tenure, rural space, and the political economy of Ptolemaic Egypt (332 BC-30 BC)
JG Manning, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - In this paper I argue that statist (or “despotic”) assumptions of royal power does not adequately describe the nature of political power in the Ptolemaic development of Egypt. I examine the process of Ptolemaic state formation from the point of view of the expansion and the settlement of the Fayyum, the foundation of Ptolemais in the Thebaid, and from the point of view of new fiscal institutions.

040501 The Ptolemaic economy, institutions, economic integration, and the limits of centralized political power
JG Manning, Stanford University
Revised May 2006. See entry 050604.

020501 Ancient Theatre and Performance Culture
Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
No longer available as a working paper. This is now published as "Ancient Theatre and Performance Culture," pp. 36-54 in M. McDonald and J.M. Walton (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theature, Cambridge University Press, 2007.