The Science of Roman History

Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past

by

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ISBNs
  • 9780691162560
  • 9781400889730

How the latest cutting-edge science offers a fuller picture of life in Rome and antiquity

This groundbreaking book provides the first comprehensive look at how the latest advances in the sciences are transforming our understanding of ancient Roman history. Walter Scheidel brings together leading historians, anthropologists, and geneticists at the cutting edge of their fields, who explore novel types of evidence that enable us to reconstruct the realities of life in the Roman world.

Contributors discuss climate change and its impact on Roman history, and then cover botanical and animal remains, which cast new light on agricultural and dietary practices. They exploit the rich record of human skeletal material--both bones and teeth—which forms a bio-archive that has preserved vital information about health, nutritional status, diet, disease, working conditions, and migration. Complementing this discussion is an in-depth analysis of trends in human body height, a marker of general well-being. This book also assesses the contribution of genetics to our understanding of the past, demonstrating how ancient DNA is used to track infectious diseases, migration, and the spread of livestock and crops, while the DNA of modern populations helps us reconstruct ancient migrations, especially colonization.

Opening a path toward a genuine biohistory of Rome and the wider ancient world, The Science of RomanHistory offers an accessible introduction to the scientific methods being used in this exciting new area of research, as well as an up-to-date survey of recent findings and a tantalizing glimpse of what the future holds.

  • Princeton University Press; April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781400889730
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: The Science of Roman History
  • Author: Walter Scheidel (ed.)
  • Imprint: Princeton University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780691162560
  • 9781400889730

In The Press

"The Science of Roman History is a very timely book. With state-of-the-art contributions by scholars who are leaders in their respective fields, it describes how the integration of natural and human archives is changing the entire historical enterprise. I highly recommend that all historians read this important contribution."—J. G. Manning, author of The Last Pharaohs

About The Author

Walter Scheidel is the Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics and History, and a Kennedy-Grossman Fellow in Human Biology at Stanford University. He is the author or editor of seventeen previous books, including The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (Princeton).

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780691162560
  • 9781400889730