Harris, William V.

William R. Shepherd Professor of History


Ph.D. — Oxford University, 1968
M.A. — Oxford University, 1964
B.A. — Oxford University, 1961


Interests and Research

William Vernon Harris, Shepherd Professor of History, specializes in the history of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. He received his B.A., M.A. and D.Phil. degrees from Oxford University. His books includeRome’s Imperial Economy (2011), Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity (2009), Restraining Rage: the Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity (2002), Ancient Literacy (1989), and War and Imperialism in Republican Rome (corrected edition, 1985).  His edited books include Rethinking the Mediterranean (2005), The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans (2008), and Mental Disorders in the Classical World (2013). He has recently completed a book provisionally entitled Roman Power: a Thousand Years of Empire. W.V. Harris is the Director of Columbia's Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, and Editor of the monograph series Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition. Read his articles "The Mediterranean and Ancient History" (2005) and "Defining and Detecting Mediterranean Deforestation, 800 BCE to 600 CE" (2013).


Since 2008

2008: (editor) Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans (Oxford: University Press).

"Introduction" and "The Nature of Roman Money", in Harris (ed.), Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans [see above], 1-11, 174-207.

(editor) (with Brooke Holmes) Aelius Aristides between Greece, Rome and the Gods  (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition vol. 33) (Leiden,  2008).

"Introduction", in Harris and Holmes (eds.), Aelius Aristides between Greece, Rome and the Gods  [see above], 1-5.

rev. of  P. Sommella, Tabula Imperii Romani, Foglio K-32, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008.02.49.

rev. of E. Özveren et al., The Mediterranean World, Mediterranean Historical Review 23 (2008), 195-197.

rev. of The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare, Times Literary Supplement 12 December 2008, 29.

rev. of M. Beard, Pompeii,  Times Literary Supplement 19 and 26 December 2008, 31.

2009:  "Comment on Andrew Wilson, ‘Approaches to Quantifying Roman Trade’", in A. Bowman and A. Wilson (eds.), Quantifying the Roman Economy (Oxford, 2009), 259-265.

rev. of M. Herzfeld, Evicting Eternity, Times Literary Supplement 9 October 2009, 23.

rev. of M. Corbier, Donner à voir, donner à lire. Mémoire et communication dans la Rome ancienne, Journal of Roman Archaeology  22 (2009), 503-507.

2010: "History, Empathy and Emotions", Antike und Abendland 56 (2010), 1-23.

"Power", in A. Barchiesi and W. Scheidel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Roman Studies (Oxford, 2010), 564-78.

2011: Rome's Imperial Economy (pp. xiv + 370) (Oxford: University Press) [eleven revised papers, plus two new ones].

(edited volume, jointly with K. Iara) Maritime Technology in the Ancient Economy: Ship-Design and Navigation (Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary volume) (pp. 264).

“Introduction”, in the volume just named, pp. 9-20.

"Bois et déboisement dans la Méditerranée antique", Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 66 (2011), pp. 105-140

"Plato and the Deforestation of Attica", Athenaeum [Pavia] 99 (2011), pp. 479-82.

Rev. of A. Rademaker, Sophrosyne and the Rhetoric of Self-restraint, Gnomon 83 (2011), pp. 115-19.

Rev. of two books about the Risorgimento, TLS 18 March 2011.

Rev. of Galien, Ne pas se chagriner, TLS 29 April 2011.

Rev. of T. Barnes, Early Christian Hagiography and Roman History, TLS 13 May 2011.

2012: "The Great Pestilence and the Complexities of the Antonine-Severan Economy", in E. Lo Cascio (ed.), L'impatto della "peste antonina" (Bari: Edipuglia), 331-338.

"Epiphanies and Authority in Classical Greek Dreaming", Lampas [Amsterdam] 45: 267-282.

rev. of Scioli and Walde, Sub imagine somni, Classical Review 62: 262-4.

rev. of A. Catsambis et al. (editors), The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology, TLS July 20, p.10.

rev. of S. Dmitriev, The Greek Slogan of Freedom and Early Roman Politics in Greece, AHR 117: 1276-1277

rev. of P. Bruschetti, La necropoli di Crocifisso del Tufo a Orvieto: contesti tombali, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2012.12.14.

2013: (edited volume) Mental Disorders in the Classical World (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition 38) (Leiden: Brill). Pp. 512.

"Thinking about Mental Disorders in Classical Antiquity", in Mental Disorders, pp. 1-23.

“Greek and Roman Hallucinations”, in Mental Disorders, pp. 285-306.

(edited volume)The Ancient Mediterranean Environment between Science and History (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition 39) (Leiden: Brill). Pp. 332.

"What Kind of Environmental History for Antiquity?", in The Ancient Mediterranean Environment,pp. 1-10.

"Defining and Detecting Mediterranean Deforestation, 800 BCE to 600 CE", in The Ancient Mediterranean Environment, pp. 173-194.

(edited volume) Moses Finley and Politics (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition 40) (Leiden: Brill). Pp. 155.

“A Brief Introduction”, in Moses Finley and Politics, pp. 1-4.

"Politics in the Ancient World and Politics", in Moses Finley and Politics, pp. 107-122.

Review of S. Mithen, Thirst: Water and Power in the Ancient World, and B.  Campbell, Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome , TLS May 10 p. 28.

2014: Review of P. Vasunia, The Classics and Colonial India, TLS March 14 p.12.

“Literacy and Epigraphy II”, in C. Apicella, M.-L. Haack, and F. Lerouxel (eds.), Les Affaires de Monsieur Andreau: économie et société du monde romain (Bordeaux), pp. 280-289.

Review of J.D. Hughes, Environmental Problems of the Greeks and Romans, and K. Walsh, The Archaeology of Mediterranean Landscapes, TLS September 5 p. 21.

Review of W. Scheidel (ed.), Cambridge Companion to the Roman Economy, Journal of Roman Archaeology 27 (2014), pp. 660-664

(in press) Review of P. Kay, Rome’s Economic Revolution, TLS

(in press) "A Comment on 'Conquest by Book'", in K. Hopkins, Selected Papers, ed. C. Kelly (Cambridge University Press).

(in press) "The Indispensable Commodity: Notes on the Economy of Wood in the Roman Mediterranean", in A. Wilson (ed.), Trade in the Roman Economy (Oxford University Press).

(in press) "Prolegomena to a Study of the Economics of Roman Art", forthcoming in American Journal of Archaeology 2015

(in press) “Religion on the Battlefield: From the Saxa Rubra to the Frigidus”, forthcoming 2015 in a Festschrift for Filippo Coarelli.