I study the religions, philosophies, and scientific practices of the ancient Greco-Roman and Near Eastern world, and am currently developing a dissertation on the origins of scientific practices in archaic and classical Greece. More broadly, I am interested in understanding how the evolution of religious and scientific thinking has been shaped by social and material factors, and in turn has shaped social development, in a global context over the last several millennia. Some of my other interests in history (ancient and not-so-ancient) include the role of slavery and human trafficking in ancient economic development, the origins of the European Scientific Revolution, and the development of secularism in the modern West.
Before arriving at Stanford I trained as a philologist, and I continue to work on a wide range of topics in literary and cultural history in addition to my current interests in ancient history. I have given papers at the SCS, UK Classical Association, and various smaller venues on a variety of topics in Greek and Latin literature, and have published an article on allusive topography in Virgil's Aeneid (TAPA, Spring 2015, with Llewelyn Morgan, Brasenose College Oxford). Other small projects, in various stages of development, consider the science and philosophy of Lucan; Herodotus' portrayal of Persian religion; the philosophical pedigree and reception of Karl Jaspers' idea of the Axial Age; and Edward Gibbon's contribution to global history.