Volcanoes, Climate Change and Human History in the Time of Cleopatra

A presentation of:

Joseph Manning, Ph.D.

William K. and Marilyn Milton Simpson Professor of Classics and Professor of History
and Senior Research Scholar in Law, Yale University

Manning specializes in Hellenistic history with particular focus on the legal and economic history of Ptolemaic Egypt. His interests lie in governance, reforms of the state, legal institutions, formation of markets, and the impact of new economic institutions (coinage, banking) on traditional socio-economic patterns in the ancient world. He is also deeply concerned with Papyrology, the interpretation of ancient sources, and bringing to bear the historical social sciences, particularly Economic Sociology and economic and legal theory, to ancient history.

Manning’s current research is situated at the intersection of Paleoclimatology and the economic history of the premodern world. He is particularly interested in ice core geochemistry, a very exciting and dynamic science. Manning is part of a small team that has been working on understanding the impacts of explosive volcanic eruptions on the Nile watershed.  The team has so far focused on the Ptolemaic period but plan on extending the study through Late Antiquity and examining the inter-regional impacts of climate change across the Mediterranean world, with particular focus on the Nile and Euphrates rivers.