Shaw, Brent

Visiting Professor

Office Hours

Spring 2020: Zoom, Wednesdays 10am-noon



PhD – Cambridge University 1978


Interests and Research

The regional history of north Africa as part of the Roman empire; elements of the economy of the empire, with emphasis on its various labor regimes; forms of violence involved in the process of state formation (again, as pertains to the Roman empire); aspects of the development of early Christian churches, with emphasis on the role of martyrdom; and various other items.



Spartacus and the Slave Wars: A Brief History with Documents, translated, edited and introduced, New York, St. Martins Press, 2001; 2nd fully revised edition, Boston-New York, Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2017

Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: From the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present, New York, W. W. Norton, 2008; 5th edition: 2011 (with R. L. Tignor, J. Adelman, et alii)   

Bringing in the Sheaves: Economy and Metaphor in the Roman World, Toronto-New York, University of Toronto Press, 2013

Sacred Violence: African Christians and Sectarian Hatred in the Age of Augustine, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011


Recent Scholarly Articles

“The Myth of the Neronian Persecution,” Journal of Roman Studies, vol. 105 (2015), pp. 1-28

“Augustine and Men of Imperial Power,” Journal of Late Antiquity, vol. 8 (2015), pp. 32-61

“Lambs of God: An End of Human Sacrifice,” Journal of Roman Archaeology, vol. 29 (2016), pp. 259-91

“Dopo Spartaco: il sistema di schiavitù augusteo,” [in] Spartaco: schiavi e padroni a Roma (Rome, De Luca editore d’Arte, 2017), pp. 15-25