Stanford's approach to the study of ancient history integrates cutting-edge theories and methodologies, drawn especially from the social sciences, with more traditional methods of historical analysis. Along with gaining a solid grounding in Classical languages and culture, and in the ancillary skills essential for professional-level work in ancient history, Stanford students specializing in ancient history may prepare themselves to do original research by taking seminars in a variety of departments, including economics, political science, history, and Anthropology. Our approach is exemplified by the publications and current projects of our faculty and current students: core research interests of the ancient history faculty and students include demographic change, long term economic growth and decline, and the impact of political institutions upon state performance.
Core teaching faculty include: Maud Gleason, Ian Morris, Josh Ober, Richard Saller, and Walter Scheidel. Stanford's ancient historians are dedicated to the project of simultaneously expanding and deepening the field. We encourage our students to develop research projects that make use of comparative history, intellectual history, historical geography, and archaeology. We are constantly seeking to identify new analytic tools and bodies of data that will enable our students to solve important questions that have stumped earlier generations of scholars.
Finally, we are committed to collaborative work. Both in and out of the seminar room, graduate students and faculty work together as joint participants in a collaborative research group. Our common goal is to ask the best possible questions about how and why things happened the way they did in the ancient world, and to use the very best methods and all the available evidence in coming to the right answers.
To complete this degree program requires courses, residency units and examinations as outlined in our official document, the Stanford University Bulletin.