School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Walter Scheidel

    Walter Scheidel

    Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History

    BioWalter Scheidel's research ranges from ancient social and economic history and premodern historical demography to the comparative and transdisciplinary world history of inequality, state formation, and human welfare. He is particularly interested in connecting the humanities, the social sciences, and the life sciences.

    Scheidel is the author or (co-)editor of 20 books, has published close to 250 articles, chapters, and reviews, and has lectured in 29 countries. His most recent books are "Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity" (2019), "The Science of Roman History: Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past" (2018, ed.), "The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century" (2017; 12 translations), "On Human Bondage: After Slavery and Social Death" (2017, co-edited with John Bodel), "State Power in Ancient China and Rome" (2015, ed.), and "Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States" (2015, co-edited with Andrew Monson). Other key publications include "Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires" (2009, ed.), "The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World" (2007, co-edited with Ian Morris and Richard Saller), and "Death on the Nile: Disease and the Demography of Roman Egypt" (2001). He has also written for the New York Times, Financial Times, Atlantic, Economist, Le Monde, Foreign Affairs, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Spectator, and other media outlets.

    Scheidel recently completed "The Oxford World History of Empire" (2 vols, co-edited with Peter Bang and the late Christopher Bayly). He is currently working on the Roman monarchy in global comparative context and is planning a very short book on the future of ancient history and a longer one on how modernizing developmental discontinuities have come to enrich, divide and threaten humankind. He launched an international research initiative for the comparative study of ancient Mediterranean and Chinese empires, co-founded the "Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics," created the interactive web site "Orbis: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World," which has attracted over a million visitors and global media coverage, and is an editor of the monograph series "Oxford Studies in Early Empires" and a former editor of the journal "Historia." He was awarded a Mellon New Directions Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

  • Michael Shanks

    Michael Shanks

    Professor of Classics

    BioResearch interests:

    design history and research; archaeological theory; heritage studies and archaeologies of the contemporary past; the archaeology of Grece-Roman urbanism; the regional archaeology of the English-Scottish borders.

    Recent books:

    Archaeology in the making: conversations through a discipline. Edited with Bill Rathje and Chris Witmore. Routledge 2013.

    Archaeology: the discipline of things. With Bjørnar Olsen, Tim Webmoor and Chris Witmore. University of California Press, 2012.

    The archaeological imagination. Left Coast Press, 2012.

    Archaeologies of presence: art, performance and the persistence of being. Edited with Nick Kaye and Gabriella Giannachi. Routledge, 2012.

    Current projects:

    An archaeology of antiquity. With Gary Devore. For Oxford University Press.

    The Revs Program at Stanford. Automotive archaeology.

    From Tyne to Tweed. An archaeology of the English-Scottish borders, including excavations of the Roman town of Binchester.

    http://mshanks.com

  • Susan Stephens

    Susan Stephens

    Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities

    BioMy early formal training was as a papyrologist. For a number of years I published texts from the Oxyrhynchus and the Yale papyrus collections before turning to the two areas of research that continue to occupy me: the political and social dimensions of Hellenistic literature (and its later reception) and ancient Greek fiction writing. With Jack Winkler I edited Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments (Princeton) in 1995, and I continue to write on the social contexts of the novels and on Hellenistic Egypt more generally. In 1998 I began to write on the Hellenistic poets suggesting that their poems could be best be understood as contextualized responses to a new time and place—the recently founded city of Alexandria. Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria, which appeared in 2003, was a study of how the local Egyptian contours of Ptolemaic kingship informed the poetry of Callimachus, Theocritus, and Apollonius. Since then then I have turned to Callimachus’ reception of earlier writing (particularly Herodotus and Plato), his imagined geographies, and his appropriation of earlier Greek myths of North Africa. Callimachus in Context. From Plato to the Alexandrian Poets (with Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Cambridge, 2011) and Brill’s Companion to Callimachus (co-edited with Acosta-Hughes and Luigi Lehnus) will both appear this summer.

    At the moment I am writing a commentary on Callimachus’ Hymns and, in an effort to make Callimachus’ Aetia more accessible and user friendly, will be facilitating a website located on the Stanford server.