Joseph Morgan, ‘16

Joe is a doctoral candidate in Yale’s combined program in Classics and History and Graduate Affiliate Fellow in Yale’s Program in Agrarian Studies. His research embraces the social and economic history of the Hellenistic Mediterranean with a particular focus on the interface between environment and society in the rural communities of the Nile Valley. His dissertation examines the ramifications of administrative reform for networks of local power relations in Egypt under the Ptolemaic dynasty (r. 305-30 BCE). His research hinges on the construction of a geospatial model of provincial administration as it was instantiated across disparate geographical contexts and moments in time in the papyrological record. By reconstructing fragmentary person-to-person networks, Joe locates provincial administrators at critical bottlenecks in the web of power relations that constrained individual agency in ancient communities. His thesis turns the narrative of ancient state formation on its head in attributing the growth of administrative activity and attendant personnel in the Nile Valley to a feedback loop linking local social processes and ecologies to the behavior of king and court.

Joe is also involved in the collection and analysis of historical data for the project Volcanism, Hydrology, and Social Conflict funded by the National Science Foundation. 

joseph.morgan@yale.edu