Professor Dominic Rathbone
Professor of Ancient History
Departmental REF co-ordinator
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2059
Address Department of Classics
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
My research interests range across the Roman world from what we can reconstruct about the early Roman Republic and other Italic peoples of the time, such as the Samnites, through the political and agrarian history of the middle Republic (the relationship between landownership and political power), the unification of Italy via the Social War and establishment of the Principate (Augustus, Nero), the effects of Roman rule on Egypt as revealed by study of the documentary papyri, to the so-called ‘crisis’ of the third century. My focus is often on economic aspects, including population, farm sizes and management, prices, shipping, banking, taxation, and I like to combine evidence from archaeology, documents on papyrus from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt and the Roman lawcodes with the ancient narrative sources.
D.W. Rathbone, Economic Rationalism and Rural Society in Third-Century A.D. Egypt: The Heroninos Archive and the Appianus Estate (Cambridge University Press, 1991) pp.xix + 489
ed. R.S. Bagnall & D.W. Rathbone, Egypt from Alexander to the Copts: an Archaeological and Historical Guide (London 2004).
D.W. Rathbone & P. Temin) ‘Financial intermediation in first-century AD Rome and eighteenth-century England’, (in) ed. K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe & V. Chankowski, Pistoi dia tèn technèn. Bankers, Loans and Archives in the Ancient World. Studies in Honour of Raymond Bogaert (Leuven 2008) 371-419.
D.W. Rathbone, ‘Poor peasants and silent sherds’, (in) ed. L. de Ligt & S. Northwood, People, Land and Politics. Demographic Developments and the Transformation of Roman Italy, 300 BC - AD 14 (Leiden 2008) 305-32.
D.W. Rathbone ‘Earnings and costs: living standards and the Roman economy (first to third centuries AD)’, (in) ed. A. Bowman & A. Wilson, Quantifying the Roman Economy. Methods and Problems (Oxford 2009) 299-326.
D.W. Rathbone, ‘The Artemidorus papyrus’ (review-discussion), Classical Review 62 (2012) 442-8.
Expertise and public engagement
I am happy to supervise students in topics related to my own research interests, and more widely in ancient economic history and study of the papyrus documents from Graeco-Roman Egypt. The topics of current and recent PhD students of mine include:
Trade and Greeks in later Pharaonic Egypt
Leadership among the Samnites
State confiscation and sale of property in the Roman Republic
Management techniques in the Zenon archive (Ptolemaic Egypt)
Censorship and freedom of speech in imperial Rome
The Campanian banks: financing trade and industry
Grain supply and politics in the cities of the eastern Roman empire
The budget of the Roman Empire
The economy of the Roman world: a study in wealth creation
From Republic to Empire: the coinage of Augustus
The Roman army and the civilian population in the eastern provinces
Pastoralism in Roman Egypt
The Acts of the Alexandrian Martyrs
I directed a surface survey of sites of Graeco-Roman villages in the Fayyum, Egypt, in 1995-1998.
I am Chairman of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri Management Committee of the Egypt Exploration Society
I am President of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.