Prof. David Schaps





New York City public schools (Midwood High School, '63).

B.A. with highest honors, Swarthmore College '67.

M.A. Harvard University '70

Ph.D. Harvard University '72

How I got here:


    Like many other Baby Boomers, I wanted to make the world a better place; but as I went through college in the Vietnam War period I saw many people killing, burning, robbing -- sometimes each other, more often outsiders -- all with the intention of making the world a better place. Unlike many of my contemporaries, I suspected that most of the fighters on both sides, and probably even the politicians who sent them there, really believed in the cause for which they were fighting. I decided that politics -- or my real love, the theater, which like all literature can be mightier than the sword -- was too dangerous a weapon to be used unless I could be much more certain of what was right and what was wrong. Helped along by two erudite, genial and enthusiastic professors, Martin Ostwald and Helen North, I decided to spend my career trying to keep alive a cultural heritage that within living memory had belonged to every educated person and that now was relegated to small university departments. I had no idea how much more difficult that enterprise would become over the course of my lifetime. In graduate school I also discovered the Jewish scholarship that had been slighted in my education -- not that my teachers were trying to keep it from me, but rather that few of them knew anything about it -- and made a good deal of progress in the matter of distinguishing right from wrong. It turned out, to my surprise, that the questions involved were amenable to study; but they require a good deal of it, and the task is never finished.




  1. Economic Rights of Women in Ancient Greece (Edinburgh U. Press, Edinburgh, ’79).
  2. Yofyuto shel Yefet (The Beauty of Japheth), a first-year course in Ancient Greek for speakers of Hebrew (Faculty of the Humanities, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, ’89; second edition, ’95; third edition ’02).
  3. Classical Studies in Honor of David Sohlberg (Bar Ilan University Press, Ramat-Gan, ’96) (co-editor, with Ranon Katzoff and Jacob Petroff).
  4. The Invention of Coinage and the Monetizationof Ancient Greece (U. of Michigan Pr., Ann Arbor, ’04).
  5. Law in the Documents of the Judaean Desert (Brill, Leiden, ’05) (co-editor with Ranon Katzoff).
  6. Handbook for Classical Research (Routledge, London/New York ’11).



Some of my Favorite Articles:

  1. “The Woman Least Mentioned: Etiquette and Women’s Names,” Classical Quarterly 27 (’77), 323-30.
  2. “The Found and Lost Manuscripts of Tacitus’ Agricola,” Classical Philology 74 (’79), 28-42.
  3. “An Unnoticed Rule of Plautine Meter,” Classical Philology 74 (’79), 152-4.
  4.  “The Women of Greece in Wartime,” Classical Philology 77 (’82), 193-213.
  5. “When is a Piglet not a Piglet?,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 111 (’91), 208-209.
  6. "Aeschylus' Politics and the Theme of the Oresteia", in Ralph M. Rosen and Joseph Farrell, eds., Nomodeiktes: Greek Studies in Honor of Martin Ostwald (U. of Michigan Pr., '94), 505-15.
  7. “Builders, Contractors, and Power: Financing and Administering Building Projects in Ancient Greece,” in Ranon Katzoff & David Schaps, eds., Classical Studies in Honor of David Sohlberg (Ramat-Gan, ’96), 77-89.
  8. “Piglets Again”, Journal of Hellenic Studies 116 (’96), 169-171.
  9. “[Demosthenes] 35: Little Brother Strikes Out on his Own”, Laverna 12 (’01), 67-85.      
  10. “Zeus the Wife-Beater,” Scripta Classica Israelica 25 (’06), 1-24.
  11. “The Invention of Coinage in Lydia, in India, and in China (part I)”, Bulletin du Cercle d’Études Numismatiques 44 (’07), 281-300; (part II), ibid., 313-22.
  12. “Nausicaa the Comedienne: the Odyssey and the Pirates of Penzance”, International Journal of the ClassicalTradition 15 (’08), 217-32.
  13. “The Athenians and their Gods in a Time of Crisis” in Gabriel Herman, ed., Stability and Crisis in the Athenian Democracy,Historia Einzelschriften 220 (Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, ’11), 127-37.
  14. “War and Peace, Imitation and Innovation, Backwardness and Development: the Beginnings of Coinage in Ancient Greece and Lydia”, in Peter Bernholz and Roland Vaubel, eds., Explaining Monetary and Financial Innovation: A Historical Analysis (forthcoming).



46-001-01  - יוונית למתחילים 


46-420-01 - כתיבת הסטוריה ביוון וברומי – סמינריון


46-191-01  -חיבור פרוזה יוונית



In Progress:

A Catalogue of Commodity Prices in the Ancient Greek World

Language Acquisition and the Origins of Law