Working Papers by Subject - Greek History

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

081001 Review of T. V. Evans and D. D. Obbink (eds.), The Language of the Papyri
Joshua Katz, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - This is a review, commissioned by and written for Bryn Mawr Classical Review, of an excellent collection of papers on the language — really, languages — found in Greek and Latin papyri and related sources from the third century B.C. to the seventh/eighth century A.D. Many of the contributions deserve a wider readership than I expect they will receive.

071001 The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander
Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University
Revised September 2010. See 091010 entry.

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).

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.

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.

090901 An Aristotelian middle way between deliberation and independent-guess aggregation
Josiah Ober, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - A well-known passage of Aristotle’s Politics (3.1281a42-b10) concerning the “wisdom of the crowd” offers an attractive and plausible alternative to deliberation and independent guess aggregation, the two currently-prominent approaches to judgment and decision in an epistemic democracy. The Politics passage is clarified by reference to Aristotle’s discussion of the six parts of tragedy (Poetics 1450a6-14).

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.

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

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.

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.
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

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.)

090606 Herodotus and the Poets
Andrew Ford, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: This is an attempt to describe Herodotus’ relation to Greek poets, both as historical sources and as “cultural capital.” It is a brief discussion (1500 words) written for a general audience; but it may be of interest as raising a matter not often considered outside of the excellent and long study by Ph.-E. Legrand in Vol. 1 of the Budé Hérodote (pp. 147 ff.).

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.

050605 An Early Ptolemaic Land Survey in Demotic: P. Cair. II 31073
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Revised. See 010705, January 2007, version 2.

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.)

050602 Royal Land in Ptolemaic Egypt: A Demographic Model
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Revised. See 010704, January 2007, version 2.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

110508 Real slave prices and the relative cost of slave labor in the Greco-Roman world
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper traces the development of slave prices in the ancient Mediterranean. In classical Athens, slave prices were low relative to staple food and free wages were high, whereas in Roman Egypt, slaves were expensive compared to food and free labor. High real wages are conducive to the use of slave labor and account for its expansion in archaic and classical Greece and Republican Rome.

110506 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.

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.

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.

110515 Thucydides and the invention of political science
Josiah Ober, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - Thucydides self-consciously invented a new form of inquiry, which can reasonably be called “social and political science.” His intellectual goal was a new understanding of power and its relationship to human agency and the deep structures of human society. His understanding of agency and structure is in some ways reminiscent of the reflexivity theory developed by Anthony Giddens.

110514 Solon and the 'Horoi': Facts on the Ground in Archaic Athens
Josiah Ober, Princeton University
No longer available as a working paper. This is now published as: Josiah Ober, "Solon and the Horoi." In J. Blok and A. Lardinois (eds.), Solon: New Historical and Philological Perspectives (E.J. Bill: Leiden), 441-456.

110513 “I Besieged that Man”: Democracy’s Revolutionary Start.
Josiah Ober, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - The origins of democracy at Athens should be sought in a revolutionary moment in 508/7 B.C. and the subsequent institutional reforms associated with Cleistehenes. An revised version of the argument first offered by the author in "The Athenian Revolution of 508/7 B.C.E: Violence, Authority, and the Origins of Democracy," in C. Dougherty and L. Kurke (ed.), Cultural Poetics in Archaic Greece: Cult, Performance, Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press 1993), 215-232.

110512 Democratic Athens as an Experimental System: History and the Project of Political Theory.
Josiah Ober, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - Athens as a case study can be useful as an “exemplary narrative” for political science and normative political, on the analogy of the biologicial use of as certain animals (e.g. mice or zebrafish) as “model systems” subject to intensive study by many researchers.

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.

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.