Dr David Lewis

Senior Lecturer in Greek History and Culture

Background

I'm from Donaghadee on the Ards Peninsula, and joined the University of Edinburgh Classics Department permanently in August 2018 (promoted to senior lecturer August 2022). I trained at the University of Durham, gaining my PhD in 2012, and then held a research fellowship here in Edinburgh (2013-15) followed by a Leverhulme Early Career fellowship (also at Edinburgh: 2015-16). I then spent two years back in England when I was Assistant Professor of Ancient History at the University of Nottingham (2016-18).

I work on ancient Greek social, economic, and legal history in a broader Eastern Mediterranean context; to date most of my work has focused on slavery and the history of labour. I co-edited (with Edward Harris and Mark Woolmer) The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households and City-States (Cambridge: CUP 2016) and (with Edmund Stewart and Edward Harris) Skilled Labour and Professionalism in Ancient Greece and Rome (Cambridge: CUP 2020). My monograph Greek Slave Systems in their Eastern Mediterranean Context, c. 800-146 BC was published by OUP in 2018. I am currently co-editing a volume entitled Slavery and Honour in the Ancient Greek World with my colleagues Profs. Cairns and Canevaro.

Undergraduate teaching

Sub-honours

The Greek World 1A

The Greek World 1B

Ancient History 2B

Honours

Sparta and Crete: Classical Greek Society Beyond Athens

Labour, Wealth, and Inequality: The Economy of the Greek City-States

Ancient Greek Slavery

Seafaring and Society in the Ancient Greek World

Language

Greek 1C

Greek 2A

Greek 2HA

Postgraduate teaching

Urban Labour in Classical Attica

Sparta, c. 600-200 BC

Intermediate Greek

Current PhD students supervised

Primary supervisor: Natasha Terlexi - women, class, and the development of the city-state in the archaic through classical periods

Primary supervisor: Marios Anastasiadis - Slavery, social mobility, and competency in Archaic and Classical Greece

Research summary

Places: 

  • Europe

Themes: 

  • Ancient Civilisations

Periods: 

  • Antiquity

Ancient Greek history, esp. the archaic and classical periods, with an emphasis on the history of labour. I'm more broadly interested in how practical and material aspects of the economy feed into social history, not just in terms of the different occupations and tasks performed by individuals, but how the economy fitted together, including issues of technology, mobility, and supply chains. I have side interests in ancient Greek law, the history of seafaring, and the history of Crete.

Current research interests

I am working on a number of article-length research projects on Greek slavery, as well as finishing off a mini-monograph on slavery and economic growth in the archaic period. In the long term, I hope to write a chunky book on labour in the economy of Athens and Piraeus, c. 450-250 BC. But my immediate plans revolve around a book on the ancient Greek slave trade, aspects of which I have explored in several articles (see C.1, 5, 10, 13/14, and 22 on my publications list).

A. Books (monograph)

1.) Greek Slave Systems in their Eastern Mediterranean Context, c. 800-146 BC (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) 

B. Books (edited)

1.) The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households and City-States. (Co-edited with E.M. Harris & M. Woolmer; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)

2.) Skilled Labour and Professionalism in Ancient Greece and Rome. (Co-edited with E. Stewart & E.M. Harris; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)

3. (In preparation, co-edited with D. Cairns & M. Canevaro) Slavery and Honour in the Ancient Greek World (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press)

C. Articles and Book Chapters

1.) ‘Near Eastern slaves in classical Attica and the slave trade with Persian territories’, Classical Quarterly 61.1 (2011): 91-113.

2.) ‘Slave marriages in the laws of Gortyn: A matter of rights?’, Historia 62.4 (2013): 390-416.

3.) (Co-written with Mirko Canevaro) ‘Khoris oikountes and the obligations of freedmen in late Classical and early Hellenistic Athens’, Incidenza dell’antico 12 (2014): 91-121.

4.) (Co-written with E.M. Harris) ‘Introduction: Markets in Classical and Hellenistic Greece’, in Harris, E.M., Lewis, D.M. & M. Woolmer (eds.) The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households and City-States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016): 1-37.

5.) ‘The market for slaves in the fifth- and fourth-century Aegean: Achaemenid Anatolia as a case study’, in Harris, E.M., Lewis, D.M. & M. Woolmer (eds.) The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households and City-States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016): 316-36.

6.) ‘Appendix: Commodities in classical Athens: the evidence of Old Comedy’, in Harris, E.M., Lewis, D.M. & M. Woolmer (eds.) The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households and City-States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016): 381-98.

7.) ‘Orlando Patterson, property, and ancient slavery: The definitional problem revisited’, in Bodel, J. & W. Scheidel (eds.) On Human Bondage: After Slavery and Social Death (Malden, MA & Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016): 31-54.

8.) ‘Slavery and manumission’, in Harris, E.M. & M. Canevaro (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming; published online 2016)

9.) ‘Making law grip: Inequality, injustice and legal remedy in Solonian Attica and Ancient Israel', in Xydopoulos, Y., Vlassopoulos, K. & E. Tounta (eds.), Violence and Community: Law, Space and Identity in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean World (London & New York: Routledge, 2017): 28-49.

10.) ‘Notes on slave names, ethnicity, and identity in Classical and Hellenistic Greece’, Studia Źródłoznawcze. U Schyłku Starożytności 16 (2017): 169-99.

11.) ‘Behavioural economics and economic behaviour in classical Athens’, in Canevaro, M., Erskine, A., Gray, B. & J. Ober (eds.) Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018): 15-46. 

12.) ‘Classical and Near Eastern slavery in the first millennium BCE’, in Hodkinson, S., Vlassopoulos, K. & M. Kleiwegt (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Slaveries (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming; published online 2018) 

13.) 'Piracy and slave trading in action in Classical and Hellenistic Greece', Mare Nostrum 10.2 (2019): 79-108.

14.) ‘Pirataria e comércio de escravos em ação na Grécia classica e hellenística’, Mare Nostrum 10.2 (2019) [Portuguese version of 13, translated by Gabriel Cabral Bernardo]: 109-140.

15.) ‘Misthos, apophora, or something else? A fresh look at SEG XXXV 134’, in A. Jördens & U. Yiftach (eds.) Legal Documents in Ancient Societies VIII: Accounts and Bookkeeping in the Ancient World (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2020): 98-111.

16.) ‘Legal knowledge in Gortyn: Debt bondage and the liability of slaves in Gortynian law’, in C. Ando & W.P. Sullivan (eds.) The Discovery of the Fact (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2020): 72-90.

17.) ‘Labour specialization in the Athenian economy: Occupational hazards’, in Stewart, E., Harris, E.M. & D.M. Lewis (eds.) Skilled Labour and Professionalism in Ancient Greece and Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020): 129-74.

18.) 'Labour and employment', in Niels, J. & D. Rogers (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Athens (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021): 217-30.

19.) ‘A global perspective on the definition of slavery’, in Doddington, D. & E. Dal Lago (eds.) Writing the History of Slavery (London: Bloomsbury, 2022): 19-39.

20.) (Co-written with E.M. Harris) ‘What are early Greek laws about? Substance and procedure in archaic statutes, c. 650-450 BC’, in Canevaro, M. & J. Bernhardt (eds.) From Homer to Solon: Continuity and Change in Archaic Greek Society (Leiden: Brill, 2022): 229-64.

21.) ‘The Homeric roots of helotage’, in Canevaro, M. & J. Bernhardt (eds.) From Homer to Solon: Continuity and Change in Archaic Greek Society (Leiden: Brill, 2022): 64-92.

22.) 'A cargo of slaves? Demosthenes 34.10', Mariner's Mirror 108.2 (2022): 135-48.

23.) 'Global slavery for Greek historians: Prospects and pitfalls', in A. Pałuchowski (ed.) Les lectures contemporaines de l’esclavage: problématiques, méthodologies et analyses depuis les années 1990, Actes du 42e colloque du GIREA, Wrocław, 4 et 5 septembre 2019. (Besançon: Presses universitaires de Franche Comte, 2022): 47-62.

24.) (Co-written with Tim Parkin & Peter Morton), ‘(Re)producing slaves’, in Hodkinson, S., Vlassopoulos, K. & M. Kleiwegt (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Slaveries (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming; online version published 2022).

25.) 'Attic deme harbours, the rural economy, and state oversight of maritime trade: The incident at Φωρῶν Λιμήν ([Dem.] 35.28-9)', Pnyx 1.2 (2022): 81-101.

26.) 'I molti volti della schiavitù', (translated by Maurizio Giangiulio) in M. Bettalli & M. Giangiulio (eds.) Atene: Guida alla città della democrazia (V-IV sec. a.C.). (Rome: Carocci, 2023): 165-82.

27.) 'The Cretan way of war: Status, violence, and values from the classical period to the Roman conquest', Journal of Hellenic Studies 143 (2023): 1-25.

28.) (Co-written with Mirko Canevaro) 'Between "The Character of the Athenian Empire" and The Origins of the Peloponnesian War (and beyond): The popularity of the Athenian Empire revisited', Polis 41 (2024): 176-202.

29.) 'Fafner and the Rhinemaidens' treasure, fifty years on', Polis 41 (2024): 121-40.

30.) ‘The local slave systems of ancient Greece’, in Tandy, D.W. & S.D. Gartland (eds.) Voiceless, Invisible, and Countless: The Experience of Subordinates in Greece, 800-300 BC (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2024): 155-83. 

31.) 'Did serfdom exist in Classical and Hellenistic Crete?', in P. Scheibelreiter (ed.) Symposion 2022. Akten der Gesellschaft für griechische und hellenistische Rechtsgeschichte (Vienna, 2024): 225-51.

32.) (Co-written with E.M. Harris; submitted) 'City and country in the Greek world', in Flohr, M. & A. Zuiderhoeck (eds.) A Companion to Cities in the Greco-Roman World (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2024)

33.) (Co-written with M. Canevaro; submitted) 'Poverty, race and ethnicity', in C. Taylor (ed.) A Cultural History of Poverty in Antiquity (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2024)

34.) (Co-written with M. Canevaro; submitted) 'The rites, rituals, and sites of business', in J.K. Davies & C. Adams (eds.) A Cultural History of Business in Antiquity (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2024). 

35.) (Submitted) 'Economic change', in K. Vlassopoulos & K. Panagopoulou (eds.) Historical Change in the Ancient Aegean.

36.) (submitted) 'Slave families, reproduction, and the market: Towards a study of the ancient Greek slave supply', in S. Maillot (ed.) Familles d'esclaves / esclaves dans la famille. 

37.) (Co-written with Miko Flohr, submitted) 'Society and politics', in B. Russell (ed.), A Cultural History of Crafts in Antiquity (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2024)

38.) (In preparation, with Myles Lavan) 'Thinking with slavery', in Hodkinson, S., Vlassopoulos, K. & M. Kleiwegt (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Slaveries (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

D. Encyclopaedia Entries

1.) (Co-written with S. Zanovello) ‘Freedmen/Freedwomen: Greek’, The Oxford Classical Dictionary (online edition, published May 2017).

2.) 'The Laws of Crete', The Oxford Classical Dictionary (online edition, published March 2021)

3.) 'The Helots', The Oxford Classical Dictionary (online edition, published March 2021)

4.) (Co-written with E.M. Harris) 'Gortyn, law collection of', The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (online edition, published December 2021)

5.) 'Slavery, Greek', The Oxford Classical Dictionary (online edition, published May 2023).

E. Popular Media

1.) 'Theophrastus and the slaves of Athens', Omnibus 76 (2018): 20-22.

2.) 'The pirate crew at work', Ancient Warfare Magazine XVI.1 (2023): 18-23.

F. Reviews

1.) Tout vendre, tout acheter: structures et équipements des marchés antiques: actes du colloque d'Athènes, 16-19 juin 2009 (Athens & Bordeaux, 2012), ed. V. Chankowski & P. Karvonis, Journal of Hellenic Studies 134 (2014): 202-3.

2.) La démocratie contre les experts. Les esclaves publics en Grèce ancienne (Paris, 2015) by P. Ismard. The Classical Review 66.2 (2016): 476-478.

3.) La main-d’oeuvre agricole en Méditerrannée archaïque: statuts et dynamiques économiques, ed. J. Zurbach (Bordeaux & Athens, 2015). Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2016.09.28.

4.) The Laws of Ancient Crete, c. 650-400 BCE (Oxford, 2016) by M. Gagarin & P. Perlman. The Classical Review 67.1 (2017): 133-34.

5.) The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy: Institutions, Markets, and Growth in the City-States (Princeton, 2016) by A. Bresson. Journal of Hellenic Studies 137 (2017): 240-1.

6.) The Open Sea. The Economic Life of the Ancient Mediterranean World From the Iron Age to the Rise of Rome (Princeton, 2018) by J.G. Manning. Journal of Greek Archaeology (2019): 497-501.

7.) Colonization and Subalternity in Classical Greece. The Experience of the Nonelite Population (Cambridge, 2017) by G. Zuchtriegel. Journal of Hellenic Studies 140 (2020): 278-9.

8.) Historicizing Ancient Slavery (Edinburgh, 2021) by K. Vlassopoulos. Journal of Global Slavery 6 (2021): 372-4.

9.) Making Money in Ancient Athens (Ann Arbor, 2021) by M. Leese. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2022.03.43