Bagnall, Roger S. 1947- (Roger Shaler Bagnall)

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Bagnall, Roger S. 1947- (Roger Shaler Bagnall)


Born August 19, 1947, in Seattle, WA; married, 1969; children: two. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1968; University of Toronto, M.A., 1969, Ph.D., 1972.


Office—Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 15 E. 84th St., New York, NY, 10028. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, educator. Florida State University, assistant professor, 1972-74; Columbia University, assistant professor, 1974-78, associate professor, 1979-1982, professor, 1983-2007, Jay Professor of Greek and Latin, 2006-07, professor emeritus, 2007—, dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1989-93, chair of Department of Classics, 1994-2000, Curator of papyrus collection at Columbia University Libraries; University of California, Berkeley, Sather Professor, 2005; Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, director and professor of ancient history, 2007—. Scholars Press, member of the board, 1975-85. Founder, International Workshop for Papyrology and Social History.


American Society of Papyrologists (secretary-treasurer, 1974-79), American Philology Association (secretary-treasurer, 1979-85), American Philosophical Society, Association pour les Études Grecques, Egypt Exploration Society, Association of Ancient Historians.


Guggenheim fellow, 1990-91; Distinguished Achievement Award, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2003; Fellow, American Numismatic Society; Association Academie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; corresponding fellow, British Academy.


(With A.E. Samuel) Ostraka in the Royal Ontario Museum, A.M. Hakkert (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1971.

The Administration of the Ptolemaic Possessions outside Egypt, Brill (Leiden, Netherlands), 1976.

(With P.J. Sijpesteijn and K.A. Worp) Ostraka in Amsterdam Collections (O. Amst.), Terra (Zutphen, Netherlands), 1976.

(With John F. Oates and William H. Willis) Checklist of Editions of Greek Papyri and Ostraca, Scholars Press (Missoula, MT), 1978.

(Editor) Columbia Papyri VII: Fourth Century Documents from Karanis, Scholars Press (Missoula, MT), 1979.

(With K.A. Worp) Regnal Formulas in Byzantine Egypt, Scholars Press (Missoula, MT), 1979.

(Editor) Research Tools for the Classics: The Report of the American Philological Association's Ad Hoc Committee on Basic Research Tools, Scholars Press (Chico, CA), 1980.

(Editor) Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Congress of Papyrology: New York, 24-31 July 1980, Scholars Press (Chico, CA), 1981.

(With Peter Derow) Greek Historical Documents: The Hellenistic Period, Scholars Press (Chico, CA), 1981.

Currency and Inflation in Fourth Century Egypt, Scholars Press (Chico, CA), 1985.

(Editor, with William V. Harris) Studies in Roman Law in Memory of A. Arthur Schiller, E.J. Brill (Leiden, Netherlands), 1986.

Consuls of the Later Roman Empire, Scholars Press (Atlanta, GA), 1987.

(Editor, with Timothy T. Renner and Klaas A. Worp) Columbia Papyri VIII, Scholars Press (Atlanta, GA), 1990.

Egypt in Late Antiquity, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1993.

(With Bruce W. Frier) The Demography of Roman Egypt, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History, Routledge (New York, NY), 1995.

Digital Imaging of Papyri: A Report to the Commission on Preservation and Access, Commission on Preservation and Access (Washington, DC), 1995.

(Editor, with Dirk D. Obbink) Columbia Papyri X, Scholars Press (Atlanta, GA), 1996.

(With Bruce W. Frier and Ian C. Rutherford) The Census Register P.Oxy. 984: The Reverse of Pindar's Paeans, Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth (Brussels, Belgium), 1997.

(With Richard J.A. Talbert) Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2000.

(Edited, with Traianos Gagos) Essays and Texts in Honor of J. David Thomas, American Society of Papyrologists (Oakville, CT), 2001.

Later Roman Egypt: Society, Religion, Economy and Administration, Ashgate/Variorum (Burlington, VT), 2003.

(Editor, with Peter Derow) The Hellenistic Period: Historical Sources in Translation, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2004.

(Editor, with Dominic W. Rathbone) Egypt from Alexander to the Early Christians: An Archaeological and Historical Guide, J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA), 2004, published as Egypt: From Alexander to the Copts: An Archaeological and Historical Guide, British Museum Press (London, England), 2004.

(With Klaas A. Worp) Chronological Systems of Byzantine Egypt, Brill (Boston, MA), 2004.

Hellenistic and Roman Egypt: Sources and Approaches, Ashgate/Variorum (Burlington, VT), 2006.

(With Raffaella Cribiore) Women's Letters from Ancient Egypt, 300 B.C.-A.D. 800, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 2006.

(Editor) Egypt in the Byzantine World, 300-700, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Also the author of numerous professional articles.


Roger S. Bagnall is a papyrologist and a historian of the Hellenistic, Roman, and late antique eastern Mediterranean at New York's Columbia University. According to an article on the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Classics Web site, Bagnall is "an internationally acknowledged leader in the field of papyrology, arguably the greatest papyrologist (in the broadest understanding of that discipline) that the Americas have ever produced." Bagnall has published numerous books dealing with his special research focus, Graeco-Roman Egypt.

Bagnall employed his skill as a papyrologist in his 1993 study, Egypt in Late Antiquity, which "covers the period from Diocletian until the fifth century, with particular attention to the fourth century," according to English Historical Review writer Penelope Glare, who went on to note that Bagnall covers topics including "economy, power, the family, literacy and religion, providing an interesting, comprehensive and accessible survey with plentiful references to more detailed arguments." Bagnall used the numerous scraps of papyri that have been preserved from the time (due to the dry climate) to "provide intimate glimpses into everyday life," according to Historian reviewer Michael Maas, who further noted, "Clearly written and resting on a meticulous command of the evidence and contemporary scholarship, this book is necessary reading for students of the Mediterranean region, Egypt, Rome, and Byzantium." G.W. Bowersock, writing in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, felt that Bagnall was "unusually astute in assessing the luxuriant documentation of the papyri." Bowersock also thought Bagnall's "chapters on the economy of the countryside are exemplary." The same reviewer concluded, "This is a work of well-digested erudition, clear thinking, and mature judgment."

Bagnall explores further aspects of Egyptian history in his Chronological Systems in Byzantine Egypt, written with Klaas A. Worp. As Benjamin Garstad noted in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Bagnall and Worp "provided the scholarly world not with a light reflection on how the inhabitants of Late Antique Egypt regarded the passage of time, but with a densely argued and comprehensively researched work of reference on how documents were dated in Egypt" during the time in question. Garstad further noted that the work "stands as a substantial piece of scholarship sure to guide the way of neophytes and provide experts with fodder for their arguments. It is all the more welcome in being a work unafraid to be daunting to the dilettante and hard reading for all but the specialist."

Working with Bruce W. Frier, Bagnall explores further aspects of classical Egypt in The Demography of Roman Egypt, a book that provides for "a considerable increase in our understanding both of the census declarations and of the likely demographic reality of Roman Egypt, and perhaps also in many respects of the Roman world as a whole," according to Tim Parkin, writing in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review.

With Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History, Bagnall provides technical advice to historians who are not themselves papyrologists. According to Bryn Mawr Classical Review contributor Fred W. Jenkins, "The heart of the work consists of four chapters which discuss methods and problems in using papyri as historical evidence."



Bryn Mawr Classical Review, March 20, 1995, Tim Parkin, review of The Demography of Roman Egypt; March 24, 1997, Fred W. Jenkins, review of Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History; June 15, 1997, Kirsti Copeland, review of Columbia Papyri X; March 30, 2002, Paul Schubert, review of Essays and Texts in Honor of J. David Thomas; March 19, 2004, Allen Kerkeslager, review of The Hellenistic Period: Historical Sources in Translation; June 27, 2004, Benjamin Garstad, review of Chronological Systems in Byzantine Egypt; November 6, 2005, John Whitehorne, review of Egypt from Alexander to the Early Christians: An Archaeological and Historical Guide; November 19, 2006, Sarah B. Pomeroy, review of Women's Letters from Ancient Egypt. 300 B.C.-A.D. 800; May 16, 2007, Pablo Ubierna and Diego M. Santos, review of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt: Sources and Approaches.

English Historical Review, February 1997, Penelope Glare, review of Egypt in Late Antiquity, p. 154.

Historian, winter 1994, Michael Maas, review of Egypt in Late Antiquity, p. 367.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, fall 1995, G.W. Bowersock, review of Egypt in Late Antiquity, p. 275.

Journal of Near Eastern Studies, July 2001, Terry G. Wilfong, review of Egypt in Late Antiquity, p. 201.

Journal of the American Oriental Society, January-March 1997, Terry G. Wilfong, review of The Demography of Roman Egypt, p. 160.

New York Times, April 10, 2007, Robin Pogrebin, "Chief for N.Y.U. Institute," p. 2.

Reference & Research Book News, November 2006, review of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt.


Columbia University Department of History Web site, (June 30, 2007), "Roger S. Bagnall."

Phi Beta Kappa Society Web site, (June 30, 2007), "Roger S. Bagnall, Columbia University."

University of California, Berkeley, Department of Classics Web site, (June 30, 2007), "Roger Bagnall: Sather Professor for Fall 2005."