Infrastructural and Despotic Power in Ancient States


Thursday 10 April 2014
Classics 21
4:00-6:15 First session. Chair: Luke Gardiner

4:00-4:15 Opening remarks: Clifford Ando (Chicago)

4:15-5:15 R. Alan Covey (Dartmouth): The Construction and Use of Inca Infrastructure as an Expression of Royal Power

5:15-6:15 Norman Yoffee (Michigan): Early Cities, Distributed Power, Sustainability: A Cross-Cultural Speculation


Friday 11 April
Classics 110

10:00-12:00 Second session. Chair: Lakshmi Ramgopal

10:00-11:00 Anthony Kaldellis (Ohio State): The Ideology, Purpose, and Infrastructural Capabilities of the Byzantine State

11:00-12:00 Richard Payne (Chicago): The Infrastructures of Iran: Ideology and the Making of a Robust Aristocratic Empire in Late Antiquity

12:00-2:00 LUNCH

2:00-4:00 Third Session. Chair: Michael Dietler

2:00-3:00 Damian Fernandez (Northern Illinois): Landownership and Taxation Infrastructure in Visigothic Iberia

3:00-4:00 Emily Mackil (Berkeley): Property Claims and State Formation in Archaic Greece


4:15-6:15 Fourth Session. Chair: Elizabeth Fagan

4:15-5:15 Lori Khatchadourian (Cornell): The Satrapal Condition and the Matter of Empire

5:15-6:15 Joe Manning (Yale): Greeks in an Egyptian Theater. Kings, the Power of History and the Evolution of the Ptolemaic State


Saturday 12 April
Classics 21
10:00-12:00 Fifth Session. Chair: Alice Yao

10:00-11:00 John Weisweiler (Basel): Despotism, Infrastructural Power and the Domestication of the Late Roman Aristocracy

11:00-12:00 Wang Haicheng (Washington): Western Zhou Despotism

12:00 LUNCH

2:00-5:00 Sixth Session. Chair: Bruce Lincoln

2:00-3:00 Cam Grey (Penn): What difference did Empire make? Peasants, Consumption, Infrastructure

3:00-4:00 Seth Richardon (Chicago): Before Things Worked: A “Low-Power” Model of Early Mesopotamia

4:00-5:00 Roundtable discussion: Greg Anderson (Ohio State), Noel Lenski (Colorado), James C. Scott (Yale), and Greg Woolf (St. Andrews)


Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Ancient Religions and the Franke Institute for the Humanities.

For more information, please contact Clifford Ando (, Elizabeth Fagan ( or Erika Jeck (