The William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Professor of Classics and History
Senior Research Scholar, Yale Law School.
Much of his previous work has been devoted to the understanding of the interactions between Greek and Egyptian institutions in the Ptolemaic period and the new state formation of the Ptolemies that was driven by these interactions as well as longer term historical forces. His approach, thus, has been to examine Ptolemaic Egyptian society as a whole, striking a balance between state aims and local responses to these aims, and deploying both the Egyptian and Greek material to fuller effect.
His main concern is the historical interpretation of the Greek and demotic documentary texts of the Ptolemaic period, the role of archaeology in the context of Ptolemaic economic history, and the applicability of social science theory, particularly New Institutional Economics and Social Network Analysis, towards an understanding the contextualization of the historical developments in the Ptolemaic empire. The papyri (and ostraca) from Ptolemaic Egypt comprise the richest corpus for the study of the hellenistic economy and the formation and expansion of Ptolemaic governance, but using the information recorded in the texts in the wider context of state development, economic performance and institutional change presents enormous interpretive challenges. He is also increasingly interested in material culture and the integration of archaeological material into the understanding of long term trends in economy and society (e.g. the performance of the economy and cultural interactions between Greek and Egyptians among other groups), as well as larger scale work in the deep connections between Hellenistic and Roman history generally.
He has published three monographs: The Hauswaldt Papyri. A Family Archive from Edfu in the Ptolemaic Period. Demotische Studien, Vol. 12. Würzburg, 1997, Land and power in Ptolemaic Egypt. The structure of land tenure 332–30 BCE. Cambridge University Press, 2003, and The last pharaohs. Egypt under the Ptolemies, 305–30 BC. Princeton University Press, 2009. He has also edited (with Ian Morris, Stanford University) a volume on economic history: The Ancient Economy: Evidence and Models. Stanford University Press, 2005, and a second edited volume will appear shortly: Law and society in Egypt from Alexander to the Arab Conquest (330 BC-640 AD). Co-edited with J.G. Keenan & Uri Yiftach. Cambridge University Press.
Monograph length projects underway
- (1) Ancient Egyptian Civilization. Blackwell. 2011.
- (2) Hellenistic period for The University of Edinburgh Press History of the Greeks Series. Ed. Thomas Gallant. 2012.
- (3) The economy of the ancient Mediterranean world. Princeton University Press. 2012.
His current writing projects include a broad interpretive survey of Hellenistic history for the University of Edinburgh Press History of the Greeks Series, Edited by Thomas Gallant (UCSD), as well as a general survey of the economic history of the ancient Mediterranean.
Before coming to Yale, Manning taught for 12 years at Stanford University and two years at Princeton University. Manning is a Professor in both the Classics and the History Departments at Yale, and a Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School. He is a collaborative member of Yale’s Program in Economic History.
In the popular press
- Beyond the Pharaohs. The Wall Street Journal Bookshelf, March 19, 2011.
Selected Recent Publications
- "The capture of the Thebaid" in Perspectives on Ptolemaic Thebes. Ed. Peter F. Dorman and Betsey M. Bryan. Chicago:Oriental Institute, 2011. Pp. 1–16
- The last pharaohs. Egypt under the Ptolemies. Princeton University Press, 2009.
- "The Ptolemaic economy," in The Cambridge Economic History
of the Graeco-Roman World. Eds. Ian Morris, Walter Scheidel & Richard Saller.
Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp. 434–59.
- The ancient economy. Evidence and models. With Ian Morris.
Stanford University Press, 2005.
- Land and power in Ptolemaic Egypt. The structure of land tenure 332–30 BCE.
Cambridge University Press, 2003.
- "Demotic Law," in A history of ancient Near Eastern law.
Ed. Raymond Westbrook. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2003. Pp. 819–62.
The Yale UCL Collaboration, Departments of History (Ancient History)
- "Demotic and Demotic sources for Ancient Historians" Wed 23 May, 2–6pm, UCL History Department, room G10 (ground floor). Preparatory reading: “Chapter Six: The Temple Scribe’s Petition” (pp. 97–112) and “Chapter Eight: People of the Serapeum” (pp. 130–152) in J. Ray, Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt, Oxford 2002.
- "The Ptolemies" Thu 24 May, 2–6pm, UCL History Department, room G10 (ground floor). Preparatory reading: G. Hölbl, A History of the Ptolemaic Empire, London 2001, chapters 2–3; J.G. Manning, The Last Pharaohs: Egypt under the Ptolemies, 305–30 BC, Princeton 2009, chapter 2.
- "Continuity and change in later first millennium Egypt: legal institutions and economic strategy" Fri 25 May, 2–6pm, UCL History Department, room 107 (first floor). Preparatory reading: J. Mélèze–Modrzejewski, “Law and justice in Ptolemaic Egypt,” in: M.J. Geller and H. Maehler (eds.), Legal Documents of the Hellenistic World, London: 1995, pp. 1–36.
- 21 February: "Patrimonial Power, State Power, and Land in Greco-Roman Egypt" at the 3rd International Conference of the Research Network Imperium & Officium: Land and Power in the Ancient and Post-Ancient World, University of Vienna, 20–22 February 2013.
- 8 February: "Dispute resolution in Ancient Egypt," Harvard Law School
Daily Life in the papyri
Spring 2013, MW 4-5.15
The aim of the course is to introduce the student to the Greek papyri from Egypt. Close attention will be paid to the language of the texts, but also to their structure and interpretation. The course will also introduce the methods of the field of Papyrology and current research questions in the field.
Course requirements will include a short research midterm paper on a text chosen by the student and a final exam.