Ian Morris

Ian Morris

  • Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor in Classics
  • Fellow of the Archaeology Center
  • Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center

450 Serra Mall
Building 110
Stanford, CA 94305-2145


Ian Morris is Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics and a Fellow of the Archaeology Center at Stanford University. He grew up in Britain and studied at Birmingham and Cambridge Universities before moving to the University of Chicago in 1987 and on to Stanford University in 1995. He directed Stanford’s archaeological excavations at Monte Polizzo in Sicily between 2000 and 2007 and has served at Stanford as Senior Associate Dean of Humanities and Sciences, Chair of the Classics department, and Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center and Social Science History Institute. He has served as a contributing editor at Stratfor, the Roman Professor of International Studies at the LSE, the Australian Army's Professor of Future Land Warfare, and as a member of the Max Planck Institute's Scientific Advisory Board. In 2012 he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.

He has published thirteen books and more than a hundred essays in scholarly journals and newspapers. His book Why the West Rules—For Now: The Patterns of History, and What they Reveal About the Future (published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2010) won three literary awards, was named as one of the best books of the year by The New York TimesThe EconomistForeign AffairsNewsweekNature, and the London Evening Standard, and has been translated into fourteen languages. Foreign Policy magazine ranked it number 2 among the books global thinkers were reading in 2011. His most recent book, Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Values Evolve, was published by Princeton University Press in 2015. His next book looks at Britain's relations with Europe and the wider world--all the way back to 6000 BC, when rising sea levels physically separated the British Isles from the European continent.


Journal Articles
April 2016

What is Ancient History?

cover link What is Ancient History?

In The News

Ian Morris

Brexit was 10,000 years in the making, Stanford historian says in new book

What Britain’s geography means to the British people is key to understanding why they voted to leave the European Union, Stanford classics Professor Ian Morris asserts.
cover link Brexit was 10,000 years in the making, Stanford historian says in new book