Spring 2016

What is Ancient History?

Ian Morris and Walter Scheidel
Two competing models of ancient history have dominated academic discourse for the last three centuries: the classical model, which regards ancient Greece and Rome as the beginning of human history that “matters,” and the evolutionary model, which is global in outlook and goes back to the origins of humanity. But the new evidence and methods available to scholars in the twenty-first century may finally push the conversation in a new direction, forcing the schools to engage with each other more deeply; this essay proposes such a comparative approach and considers its potential.
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