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Ian Morris

Ian Morris

Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics
Faculty, Stanford Archaeology Center
B.A., Birmingham University, 1981
Ph.D., Cambridge University, 1985

Ian Morris is a historian and archaeologist and holds Stanford's Jean and Rebecca Willard Professorship in Classics. In addition to his Stanford appointment, he is also a Senior Fellow of the IDEAS think tank at the London School of Economics, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Toulouse, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Society for the Arts, a Contributing Editor at the strategic forecasting company Stratfor, and a member of the scientific advisory board of the Max Planck Institute. He has excavated archaeological sites in Britain, Greece, and Italy, most recently as director of Stanford's dig at Monte Polizzo, a native Sicilian site from the age of Greek colonization. He began his career studying the rise of the Greek city-state, then moved on to ancient economics, and now works on global history since the Ice Age. He has published fourteen books. One of them, Why the West Rules--For Now (2010), has been translated into thirteen languages and has won a number of literary awards, including the 2011 PEN-USA prize for non-fiction. His most recent monograph, Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve (2015), has been translated into six languages, and he is curently writing a new book called Fog in the Channel: Britain, Europe and the Wider World, 6000 BC-AD 2103. In addition to digging and writing, he regularly speaks to academic, business, government, and strategy groups, and in recent years has been the Roman Professor of International Studies at the London School of Economics, a visiting professor in the University of Zurich's Business School, and a Distinguished Visitor in the Sage Center for the Study of Mind at the University of California-Santa Barbara. At Stanford he has served as Chair of the Classics department, Director of the Archaeology Center, and Senior Associate Dean of Humanities and Sciences. His research fellowships include awards from the Guggenheim and Carnegie foundations and the National Geographic Society, and he has received two honorary doctorates and a Dean's Award for excellence in teaching. He lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with his wife, two dogs, five cats, two horses, and a floating population of peacocks.


June 2022
In the wake of Brexit, Ian Morris chronicles the eight-thousand-year history of Britain's relationship to Europe as it has changed in the...
March 2015
From Princeton University Press:
"Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth...
April 2014
From Farrar, Straus and Giroux : “War! . . . . / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing,” says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and...
January 2013
In the last thirty years, there have been fierce debates over how civilizations develop and why the West became so powerful. The Measure of...
October 2010
Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed. The emergence of...
Ian Morris, Barry B. Powell
July 2009
Organized chronologically, this book presents a complete picture of Greek civilization as a history. It features sections on the art, architecture,...
January 2009
The world's first known empires took shape in Mesopotamia between the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf, beginning around...
December 2007
In this, the first comprehensive one-volume survey of the economies of classical antiquity, twenty-eight chapters summarise the current state of...