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Walter Scheidel

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Stanford Ancient History professor

Founder of ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World

Author of 'The Great Leveler'

Walter Scheidel is an Austrian historian, professor, and published author. He currently lectures at Stanford and specializes in ancient social and economic history.

From 1984 to 1993, Scheidel studied Ancient History and Numismatics at the University of Vienna where he obtained his doctorate in 1993. He then went on to work as an administrative and research assistant at the University of Vienna.

Scheidel moved to the United States in 1999, where he initially held visiting positions at Stanford University and the University of Chicago. In 2003, he took up his current position in the Department of Classics of Stanford University, where he was promoted to professor in 2004.

Walter Scheidel has published four academic monographs and over 200 papers and reviews, and has edited or co-edited thirteen other books. He is co-editor of a monograph series for Oxford University Press and was co-founder of the Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics, the world’s first online repository for working papers in that field. In May 2012, Scheidel and Elijah Meeks launched the interactive website ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. He has been awarded a New Directions Fellowship of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

In January 2017, Princeton University Press published Walter Scheidel’s The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century which has been nominated for the Financial Times and Mckinsey business book of the year.

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