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Joshua D. Sosin, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Joshua D. Sosin

Pronouns: he/him.

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 practitioners would not fit neatly into the boxes that we use today.

The 'traditional' part of my work 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 in the orators but also in the lexicographic, encyclopedic, and scholiastic traditions that preserve such a wealth of information on the subject (see Harpokration On Line). I have been especially drawn to what the law has to say about personal status (citizens, enslaved people, freedpersons, metics, non-citizens).

I am also part of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3), which is embedded in the Libraries. We developed and 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. 

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 [first 6 sec.]; for ramblings on how punk, cycling, and classics are somehow the same experience for me listen to Mirror of Antiquity ep.5). Maybe it's that same freedom to roam that draws me.

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

Teaching (Spring 2024):

  • CLST 307.01, ATHENIAN LAW Synopsis
    Reuben-Coo 126, TuTh 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as HISTORY 413.01, POLSCI 380.01)
Office Hours:

M 0900-1000, Th 1500-1545, by appt, and any time you find me free on campus. I read email periodically throughout the day, M-F ca.0600-ca.1600e. I do not have a phone.

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 • Economic History--to 500 • inscriptions • Inscriptions • Law • manuscripts, greek (papyri) • Manuscripts, Greek (papyri) • numismatics, ancient • 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  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Sosin, JP, Unwelcome dedications: Public law and private religion in Hellenistic Laodicea by the sea, The Classical Quarterly, vol. 55 no. 1 (December, 2005), pp. 130-139, Cambridge University Press (CUP), ISSN 0009-8388 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  2. Sosin, JD, Alexanders and Stephanephoroi at Delphi, Classical Philology, vol. 99 no. 3 (January, 2004), pp. 191-208, University of Chicago Press, ISSN 0009-837X [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  3. Sosin, JD, Grain for Delos, Museum Helveticum, vol. 60 no. 2 (2003), pp. 65-79 [repository]
  4. Sosin, JD, Grain for Andros, Hermes Zeitschrift Fur Klassische Philologie, vol. 130 no. 2 (December, 2002), pp. 131-145, ISSN 0018-0777 [Gateway.cgi]
  5. Sosin, JD, Accounting and Endowments, Tyche: Beitr├Ąge zur Alten Geschichte, Papyrologie und Epigraphik., vol. 16 (2001), pp. 161-175 (appeared 2003.) [repository]
  6. Sosin, JD, Ausonius' Juvenal and the Winstedt Fragment, Classical Philology, vol. 95 no. 2 (April, 2000), pp. 199-206, University of Chicago Press, ISSN 0009-837X [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  7. Sosin, JD, Lucretius, Seneca and Persius 1.1-2, Transactions of the American Philological Association, vol. 129 (1999), pp. 281-299 [repository]

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