Cameron Hawkins

Assistant Professor of Ancient History and the College
PhD 2006 The University of Chicago

William Rainey Harper Memorial Library,
East Tower 687 – Office
(773) 834-0756 – Office telephone
(773) 702-7550 – Fax

Mailing Address

The University of Chicago
Department of History
1126 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637


Field Specialties

Economic and social history of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire; war and society in ancient Greece and Rome.


I specialize in the history of the ancient Mediterranean world, with a primary focus on the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire, and secondary interests in both classical Greece and the Achaemenid Persian empire.

My research focuses on the social and economic history of the Roman world.  Currently, I am developing a book manuscript based on my dissertation, Work in the City: Roman Artisans and the Urban Economy. In this project, I explore both the nature of the urban economy in which artisans in the Roman world sought to earn a living and the strategies they adopted in order to stay in business. I rely on a broad comparative and interdisciplinary approach influenced not only by studies of artisans in medieval and early modern Europe, but also by theoretical insights drawn from economic anthropology and transaction cost theory. I show that most artisans were confronted not only by volatile demand for their products, but also by inefficient markets for vital inputs such as labor. In this environment, they pursued strategies that were designed to minimize their operating expenses while enabling them to retain sufficient flexibility to respond to sudden surges in demand; they did so by relying heavily on social relationships, particularly those founded in collegiality, kinship, and slavery.

The courses I offer include surveys of Greek and Roman history, upper-level courses on various aspects of ancient social and economic history (including slavery), and upper-level courses on the military history of the ancient world.