In a book Jared Diamond has described as "three books wrapped into one: an exciting novel that happens to be true; an entertaining but thorough historical account of everything important that happened to any important people in the last ten millennia; and an educated guess about what will happen in the future," Ian Morris spans fifty thousand years of history and brings together the latest findings across disciplines—from ancient history to neuroscience—not only to explain why the West came to rule the world but also to predict what the future will bring in the next hundred years.
In its third annual production, Stanford Classics in Theater staged Aristophanes’ Wasps on March 3-5, dubbing the adaptation "an ancient comedy refitted for modern politics, satirizing the elitist left and Tea-Partying right." A profile of SCIT and discussion of the play can be found on the Human Experience website.
Michael Shanks and fellow archaeologists from Durham University (U.K.) broke ground last summer on a promising new dig near Binchester, the site of an old Roman fort that forms part of the Hadrian's Wall complex.
The project attracted several Stanford Classics students--both grads and undergrads--and uncovered several more artifacts and structures than had been expected in the dig's first year. Plans are already underway to bring a larger group of students as well as interested members of the public to this summer's archaeological field school at the site. For more information, please email Michael Shanks.
Professor Walter Scheidel and Professor Peter Turchin (University of Connecticut) have published a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which they analyze Roman coin hoards to explain population changes in the Roman Republic during the first century B.C.E. A good summary of the report and its implications is available on Stanford's Human Experience website, and the findings have been cited by ScienceNOW, published online by Science magazine here, as well as The New York Times.
Reviel Netz's 2009 book, The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist (co-authored with William Noel) has been awarded the inaugural Neumann Prize of the British Society for the History of Mathematics. Professor Martin Campbell-Kelly of the University of Warwick, who chaired the judging panel for the Neumann Prize, said that “although the panel was faced with a strong shortlist of books The Archimedes Codex, with its readable combination of history and modern scientific sleuthing, emerged as a clear winner.” Read more at HistoryToday.com or the BSHM's own website. Congratulations to Professor Netz!
A PDF showing scheduled events in Stanford Classics and the Stanford Archaeology Center can be viewed or downloaded here. This bulletin will be updated as additional details become available for each event, and look for a new Events announcement tool coming to the website soon.
Adrienne Mayor's The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy (Princeton UP) was among five finalists for the 2009 National Book Award for Nonfiction by the National Book Foundation.
Professor of Classics and Drama Rush Rehm coordinated Stanford Summer Theater's "Electra Festival" with resounding success. The ambitious Festival included a full production of Sophocles' Electra, which Rehm directed, along with stagings of Aeschylus' Libation Bearers and Euripides' Electra, which were followed by post-show discussions led by Classics Professor Emeritus Marsh McCall. The Festival also featured a film series, "Tragic Heroines," and a daylong Continuing Studies symposium, "The Trojan War and Electra."
(Video and photos after the jump.)
The Spring 2009 departmental newsletter includes an address from the department chair and two years' worth of faculty updates, along with student and alumni updates, featured research projects, and more. To download the full newsletter as a PDF--just click here. Design: Macworks Graphics Studio, Menlo Park, CA. Printing: Shoreline Printing and Graphics, Mountain View, CA.