Publications Resulting from Past Conferences

The Program in Early Cultures places a high value on continuing the tradition established by its predecessor, Ancient Studies, and then-Director Kurt Raaflaub of organizing conferences that examine key issues in the ancient world from complex, comparative, and interdisciplinary perspectives.  The success of these conferences has been, in many instances, captured and presented for a broader audience by publishing the papers presented in an edited volume.  Between 2007 and 2013, these texts constituted a series founded and edited by Raaflaub, The Ancient World: Comparative Histories; a list of that full series is found on this page. 

PEC's innovative and thought-provoking conferences and collaborations continue to inspire and form the basis of publications edited by the organizers, even beyond The Ancient World series.  More recent titles are featured in this site's Publications pages, and details on past lectures, workshops, and conferences can be found on by browsing Past Events.


The Ancient World: Comparative Histories

Series Editor: Kurt Raaflaub

The purpose of this series is to pursue important social, political, religious, economic, and intellectual issues through a wide range of ancient or early societies, while occasionally covering an even broader diachronic scope. By engaging in comparative studies of the ancient world on a truly global scale, this series hopes to throw light not only on common patterns and marked differences, but also to illustrate the remarkable variety of responses humankind developed to meet common challenges. Focusing as it does on periods that are far removed from our own time, and in which modern identities are less immediately engaged, the series contributes to enhancing our understanding and appreciation of differences among cultures of various traditions and backgrounds. Not least, it thus illuminates the continuing relevance of the study of the ancient world in helping us to cope with problems of our own multicultural world.

Volumes in the series are:

  • War and Peace in the Ancient World (ed. Kurt A. Raaflaub, 2007)
  • Household and Family Religion in Antiquity (eds. John Bodel and Saul Olyan, 2008)
  • Epic and History (eds. David Konstan and Kurt A. Raaflaub, 2010)
  • Geography and Ethnography: Perceptions of the World in Pre-modern Societies (eds. Kurt A. Raaflaub and Richard J. A. Talbert, 2010)
  • The Roman Empire in Context: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (eds. Johann P. Arnason and Kurt A. Raaflaub, 2011)
  • Highways, Byways, and Road Systems in the Pre-Modern World (eds. Susan E. Alcock, John Bodel, and Richard J. A. Talbert, 2012)
  • The Gift in Antiquity (ed. Michael Satlow, 2013)
  • The Greek Polis and the Invention of Democracy: A Politico-cultural Transformation and Its Interpretations (eds. Johann P. Arnason, Kurt A. Raaflaub, and Peter Wagner)
  • Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in the Ancient World (ed. Kurt A. Raaflaub)
  • Peace in the Ancient World: Concepts and Theories (ed. Kurt A. Raaflaub)