Texas Tech University

The Great Divergence: Ancient Empires and the Path to Modernity in East and West

Dr. Walter Scheidel

Dickason Professor of Humanities, Stanford University

In the medieval and modern periods no European power ever reached the size or dominance the Roman Empire enjoyed in antiquity. In East Asia, by contrast, the periodic reconstitution of universal empire remained the norm. Dr. Scheidel, explained this striking difference and argues that the lack of comparable developments in Europe was a crucial precondition for its unique path of social evolution and economic growth.

Dr.  Walter Scheidel is a Dickason Professor in Humanities at Standford University (2008), he received his Ph.D. in Ancient History form the University of Vienna 1993). Dr. Scheidel was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to the United States in 1999. Currently, Dr. Scheidel teaches Ancient History at Stanford University, California. Scheidel' s main research interests are ancient social and economic history, pre-modern historical demography, and comparative and transdisciplinary approaches to world history. Scheidel has published three academic monographs and over 180 papers and reviews, and has edited or co-edited twelve 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.

Dr. Scheidel's lecture was held in the Red Raider Ball room located in the Student Union Building at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, on December 1st 2015.

The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization