Ari Bryen holds a BA from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MA and PhD from the Committee on the Ancient Mediterranean World at the University of Chicago. His interests are in Greco-Roman social history, and especially in ancient legal practice. Before coming to ISAW, Bryen wrote a dissertation on violence in Roman and Late Antique Egypt which examined petitions on papyrus as a way of asking how non-elite individuals understood their roles in their communities, and how they conceptualized the responsibilities of their government to them in a time of crisis. This year Bryen is starting work on two new projects: one is what will hopefully be a book-length study of local legal cultures in the Greek-speaking provinces of the Roman empire. The other project is a collaborative venture that seeks to compare processes of culture-contact and acculturation in ancient and modern empires.