Contrary to the common assumption, war has produced bigger, safer and wealthier societies, says Ian Morris.
A professor of classics and history at Stanford University, he will trace his thesis through 10,000 years of human conflict—and the implications for the 21st century—in a free public lecture entitled “War: What is it good for? How violence made the world safer and richer,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 7, in Assumption University’s Freed Orman Centre.
Dr. Morris will also present “The Ancient Greek Economic Miracle,” at 10 a.m. Friday, November 8, also in the Freed Orman Centre. In this free public talk, he will examine the achievement of Greek civilization over the half-millennium from 800 to 300 BCE, which saw their population grow ten-fold and produce a series of literary and artistic masterpieces, while per capita consumption rose by 50 percent.
Both events, part of the Humanities Research Group’s Distinguished Speakers Series, will be followed by a reception.
Morris is a historian and archaeologist, and his current research looks at the ancient Mediterranean in the context of larger questions about world history. His books include Why the West Rules—For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal about the Future, named as a 2010 book of the year by The Economist, as one of 100 Notable Books of 2011 by the New York Times, and as one of the best reads for 2011 by Nature; The Measure of Civilization, from Princeton University Press; and the forthcoming War! What is it Good For?