Ratzan, David


Office Hours

Monday and Wednesday 2-3pm



Ph.D. – Columbia University, 2011
M.A. – Cambridge University, 1999
B.A. – Yale University, 1997


Interests and Research

Dr. Ratzan is currently the Head of the Library at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. His research focuses on the social history of the Greek and Roman worlds, particularly as seen through papyri. His publications include two edited volumes, Growing up Fatherless in Antiquity (with Sabine Huebner; Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Law and Transaction Costs in the Ancient Economy (with Dennis Kehoe and Uri Yiftach-Firanko; University of Michigan Press, 2015). Dr. Ratzan is also a founding member of the Ancient Ink Laboratory in the Center for Integrated Science and Engineering at Columbia University, a interdisciplinary working group investigating the chemical composition and history of ancient inks via Raman spectroscopy. 



  • History 1020: The Romans and their Empire, 754 BCE to 641 CE (Spring 2018)


"Coins." In Rossi, C. and Ikram, S. eds. (2018), The North Kharga Oasis Survey: Exploration in Egypt’s Western Desert. British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan 5. Leuven: Peeters.

Goler, S., Yardley, J. T., Cacciola, A., Hagadorn, A., Ratzan, D. M., and Bagnall, R. S. (2016). “Characterizing the age of ancient Egyptian manuscripts through micro-Raman spectroscopy.” Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 47: 1185-1193. DOI: 10.1002/jrs.4945.

“Coins.” In Boozer, A., ed. (2015). Amheida II: A Late Romano-Egyptian House in the Dakhla Oasis / Amheida House B2 (ISAW/NYU Press): 2756-61.

“Transaction Costs and Contract in Roman Egypt: A case study in negotiating the right of repossession.” In Kehoe, D. P., Ratzan, D. M., and Yiftach, U., eds. (2015) Law and Transaction Costs in the Ancient Economy (University of Michigan Press): 185-230.

A Draft of a Rider to a Cession Contract” In Ast, R. A., Cuvigny, H., Hickey, T. M., and Lougovaya, J., eds. (2012). Papyrological Texts in Honor or Roger S. Bagnall. American Studies in Papyrology 53: 267-76.

Cribiore, R., Davoli, P, and Ratzan, D. M. (2008). “A teacher’s dipinto from Trimithis (Dakhleh Oasis)” Journal of Roman Archaeology 21: 170-91.