Joseph Manning

  • William K. and Marilyn Milton Simpson Professor of Classics and Professor of History and Senior Research Scholar in Law

Joe Manning is an ancient historian whose main interest is in the social history of the Hellenistic world. His primary focus has been in the fields of economic and legal history. He was educated at the Ohio State University (Medieval architectural history/History) and the University of Chicago, studying Egyptology and Ancient History, taking an AM and a PHD in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.


Research summary

Professor Manning specializes in Hellenistic history with particular focus on the legal and economic history of Ptolemaic Egypt. His interests lie in governance, reforms of the state, legal institutions, formation of markets, and the impact of new economic institutions (coinage, banking) on traditional socio-economic patterns in the ancient world. He is also deeply concerned with Papyrology, the interpretation of ancient sources, and bringing to bear the historical social sciences, particularly Economic Sociology and economic and legal theory, to ancient history.

  • “At the Limits: Long Distance Trade in the Time of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Kings,” Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-¬-West Exchange in Antiquity. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012
  • “Ptolemaic governance and transaction costs,” in Transaction costs in the ancient world. Ed. Uri Yiftach-¬-Firanko and David Ratzan. The University of Michigan Press, 2012
  • “Leagues and Kingdoms:beyond the city state,” in The Oxford handbook of economies in the classical world. Ed. Alain Bresson, Elio Lo Cascio and Franc¸ois Velde. Oxford, 2012
  • “Fundamental legal concepts as applied to property in land in the ancient world. The case of Ptolemaic Egypt, 332 BC-¬-30 BC.”; “Contextualizing the Grapheion Archive and the Egyptian Contract tradition,” in the pTebt.Grapheion volume, papyri in the University of California collection. With Brian Muhs. In Progress
  • The economy of the ancient Mediterranean world. Princeton University Press. 2013
  • The Hellenistic period for The University of Edinburgh Press History of the Greeks Series. Ed. Thomas Gallant. 2012
  • Law and society in Egypt from Alexander to the Arab Conquest (330 BC-640 AD. Co-edited with J.G. Keenan & Uri Yiftach. Cambridge University Press
  • (with Ian Morris, Stanford University) a volume on economic history: The Ancient Economy: Evidence and Models. Stanford University Press, 2005; (forthcoming)
  • The last pharaohs. Egypt under the Ptolemies, 305 – 30 BC. Princeton University Press, 2009 (appearing in October).
  • The Hauswaldt Papyri. A Family Archive from Edfu in the Ptolemaic Period. Demotische Studien, Vol. 12. Würzburg, 1997, Land and power in Ptolemaic Egypt. The structure of land tenure 332-30 BCE. Cambridge University Press, 2003