David M. Ratzan

Head, ISAW Library

Associate Professor of Ancient Studies

David Ratzan joined ISAW in 2014 as the Head of the ISAW Library. Before coming to ISAW he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Greek and Roman Classics at Temple University and a lecturer in Contemporary Civilization in the Core Curriculum at Columbia University, where he also served as Curator of Papyri pro tempore in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library

His publications include three edited volumes, Missing Mothers: Maternal Absence in Antiquity (with Sabine Huebner; Peeters, 2021), Law and Transaction Costs in the Ancient Economy(with Dennis Kehoe and Uri Yiftach-Firanko; University of Michigan Press, 2015), and Growing up Fatherless in Antiquity (with Sabine Huebner; Cambridge University Press, 2009). David was a member of the Ancient Ink Laboratory in the Center for Integrated Science and Engineering at Columbia University, a interdisciplinary working group that investigated the chemical composition and history of ancient inks via Raman spectroscopy.

Starting with the 2023 field season he is the Director of NYU's Amheida Excavations in Egypt, along with his colleague Nicola Aravecchia (Washington University), who is Archaeological Director. 

ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3047-5635

Recent Publications

  • 2023. Agoranomika: Playful approaches to teaching the serious economic and institutional history of measurement in the ancient Greek world. In: G. Mckee and D. Wolin (eds.), Re-rolling the Past: Representations and Reinterpretations of Antiquity in Analog and Digital GamesISAW Papers 22. URI: https://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/3n5tbf7b
  • 2022. Baetens, G, R. S. Bagnall, C. Caputo, É. Mazy, and D. M. Ratzan. Ostraka in the Collection of New York University (O.NYU). ISAW/NYU Press. 
  • 2021. Huebner, S. R. and D. M. Ratzan, D. M. (eds.). Missing Mothers: Maternal absence in antiquity. Leuven: Peeters. 9789042943131.
  • 2021. Review of Bannon, C. J. A Casebook on Roman Water Law (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2020. ISBN 9780472037865). New England Classical Journal 48.2. https://doi.org/10.52284/NECJ.48.2.review.ratzan
  • 2020. Ratzan, D. M. and R. M. Ratzan. “De poculo Caesareo.” In R. M. Ratzan (ed.), Imagining Vesalius: An Ekphrastic, Scholarly, and Literary Celebration of the 1543 De Humani Corporis Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius. Berkeley: University of California Medical Humanities Press:  214–26. https://archive.nyu.edu/handle/2451/61541
  • 2020. “Teaching information literacy in the digital ancient Mediterranean classroom,” S. Heath (ed.), Digital Approaches to Teaching the Ancient Mediterranean. Grand Forks, ND: The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota: 31–70. https://archive.nyu.edu/handle/2451/61725
  • 2019. Goler, S., Hagadorn, A., Ratzan, D. M., Bagnall, R. S., Cacciola, A., McInerney, J., and Yardley, J. T. "Using Raman Spectroscopy to Estimate the Dates of Carbon-based Inks from Ancient Egypt," Journal of Cultural Heritage. Accepted Dec. 3, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2018.12.003.
  • 2018. "Chapter 9: Coins from the 2006-2008 Excavations," in N. Aravecchia, ed. Amheida IV: 'Ain el-Gedida: 2006-2008 Excavations of a Late Antique Site in Egypt's Western Desert. ISAW/NYU Press. 447–506. http://hdl.handle.net/2451/43659.
  • 2018. "Freakonomika: Oracle as Economic Indicator in Roman Egypt," in A. Luijendijk and W. Klingshorn, eds. My Lots are in thy Hands: Sortilege and its Practitioners in Late Antiquity. Brill. Pp. 248–89. DOI: 10.1163/9789004385030_014. 

Fall 2024 Courses

Recent Courses