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Ian Morris


Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics
PhD Cambridge 1986

Contact Information: 

Email: imorris@stanford.edu
Office: Building 110, Room 115
Mailcode: 2145

Office Hours: 

Mondays 12:00-1:00, Wednesdays 1:00-2:00


Ian Morris is a historian and archaeologist, and his current research looks at the ancient Mediterranean in the context of larger questions about world history. His latest book, Why the West Rules—For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal about the Future (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2010), compares eastern and western history since the end of the Ice Age and asks where the long-term trends will take us in the 21st century. It was named as a 2010 book of the year by The Economist, as one of 100 Notable Books of 2011 by the New York Times, and as one one the best reads for 2011 by Nature, and has won three international book awards.

His next book, The Measure of Civilization, should appear from Princeton University Press in late 2012, and he is now writing a new book called War! What is it Good For? (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2013). When that is finished, he will work on a book tentatively titled The Ancient World: A New History (Princeton University Press), examining the period 10,000 BCE–600 CE across the entire globe.

He has published ten previous books, including several collaborative projects with members of the Classics department, such as The Dynamics of Ancient Empires: State Power from Assyria to Byzantium (Oxford University Press 2009, co-edited with Walter Scheidel) and The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World (Cambridge University Press 2007, co-edited with Walter Scheidel and Richard Saller), as well as the textbook The Greeks: History, Culture, and Society (with Barry Powell; Prentice-Hall, 2nd ed., 2009).

In other media, he has acted as historical advisor for the History Channel's twelve-part TV series Mankind: The Story of All of Us, which will air in Fall 2012, and is also advising the History Channel on a new series. 

In 2008 he concluded a multi-year project directing the excavation of Monte Polizzo, a seventh- and sixth-century BC indigenous Sicilian town, examining cultural interaction, state formation, and economic growth.


Current Projects: 
Long-term history of conflict and war
Comparative world history of antiquity