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Joshua D. Sosin, Associate Professor of Classical Studies and History and Director of Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing

Joshua D. Sosin

One of the things that I like best about Classics is the wide range of intellectual opportunities it offers. As an undergraduate I was interested in early Christianity and Latin love elegy, which are about as far from my current work as you can get! But our discipline is built for roaming and many of its earliest greats would not fit neatly into the boxes that we use today.

My current scholarship bulks in two main areas. The first is what you might call Digital Classics. Under a joint appointment in the Duke University Libraries, I direct the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3). We specialize in the creation of tools and services that serve critical infrastructure needs for Classics and beyond. We maintain We are working on a variety of projects to do with crowd-curation of papyrological and epigraphic texts (text, translation, metadata, commentary, bibliography, and images), geo-spatial data, prosopographical information, medieval manuscript witnesses and apparatus criticus data, image recognition and text-image alignment, and more. 

The other, more 'traditional' half of my scholarship lies at what I like to call the intersection of law, economics, and religion. Under that broad rubric I have written on currency standards and exchange, ancient charitable foundations, funding of eponymous festivals, grain supply, land leasing, taxation and tax shelter, diplomacy, and other subjects. I have long tended to pursue these subjects with a special focus on their representation in documentary sources (inscriptions, papyri, and coins). But lately, I've grown increasingly interested in Athenian law and so not only to the orators but also to the lexicographic, encyclopedic, and scholiastic traditions that preserve such a wealth of information on the subject. I have been especially drawn to what the law has to say about personal status (citizens, slaves, freedmen, metics, aliens).

When I am not on the clock I am often on my bike (er, bikes), on pavement, on dirt, around town, in the middle of nowhere, for a few minutes, for a few days (punk still in the earbuds). Maybe it's that same freedom to roam.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  229A Allen Bldg, Dept. of Classical Studies, Durham, NC 27708
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2015):

  • CLST 283.01, GREEK HISTORY Synopsis
    Soc/Psych 130, TuTh 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as HISTORY 230.10)
    Allen 229, TuTh 08:30 AM-09:45 AM
Teaching (Spring 2016):

    Allen 229, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
Office Hours:

Office hours by appt and any time you find me on campus
I am generally here (or Bostock 2nd floor) M-F 0600-1600
I read email M-F 0600-1600

Ph.D.Duke University2000
B.A.University of Mary Washington1994
BA, summa cum laudeMary Washington College1994
Research Interests:

Digital humanities. History from documents; epigraphy, papyrology, numismatics, palaeography. Athenian law. Economic history; economics of Greek and Roman religion; money, land, and the state; banking; civic finance. Latin poetry, especially satire; literary allusion; ancient scholia and commentaries.


economic history--to 500 • inscriptions • Law • manuscripts, greek (papyri) • numismatics, ancient • Religion


Associate Editor, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies

Co-Director, Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri

Co-PI, Duke component of the Advanced Papyrological Information System

Curriculum Vitae  Bio
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Joanne Fairhurst  
  • Chad E Austino  
  • T. Ephraim Lytle  
  • John Bauschatz  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. JD Sosin, A Metic was a Metic, Historia, vol. 65 no. 1 (2016) [available here]  [abs]
  2. JD Sosin, Death on a Road (Dem. 23.53), Historia (2016) [historia]
  3. JD Sosin, Manumission with paramone: Conditional freedom?, Transactions of the American Philological Association, vol. 145 no. 2 (January, 2015), pp. 325-381, ISSN 0360-5949  [abs]
  4. JD Sosin, “Those who live apart” were Mercenaries, Historia, vol. 64 no. 3 (2015), pp. 413-418 [available here]  [abs]
  5. J.D. Sosin, Endowments and Taxation in the Hellenistic World, Ancient Society, vol. 44 (2014), pp. 43-89, ISSN 0066-1619 [doi]  [abs]

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