Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

Announced in 2006 with a $200 million gift from the Foundation, the Institute is a center for advanced scholarly research and graduate education, intended to cultivate cross-cultural study of the ancient world, from the western Mediterranean to China. It is headed by Dr. Roger Bagnall, a distinguished scholar educated at Yale University and the University of Toronto and a specialist in the social and economic history of Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique Egypt.

PhD Studies


ISAW’s exhibitions, public lectures, publications, digital resources, and other programs expand upon its vision and reflect the Institute’s ideal of study that bridges disciplines and ancient peoples.







Visiting Research Scholar Programs

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Each year since 2007, ISAW has appointed 8 to 12 visiting research scholars, offering them an oasis in which they may pursue independent research in ancient world studies.


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MEASURING AND MAPPING SPACE Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity

October 4, 2013 – January 5, 2014

Measuring and Mapping Space will explore the ways in which ancient Greek and Roman societies understood, perceived, and visualized both the known and the unknown areas of their world. It brings together more than forty objects, combining ancient artifacts with Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and printed books   that draw upon ancient geographic treatises. Together, they provide a fascinating overview of Greco-Roman theories of the shape and size of the Earth, ancient methods of surveying and measuring land, and the ways in which geography was used in Roman political propaganda. A specially designed multimedia display examines the increasing importance of modern technologies in mapping the ancient world.

Library Collections

Bobst Library, Inside Details and Students

ISAW has developed an extensive library in its field of study. It has acquired several private libraries whose strengths lie in Greek and Roman art, history and archaeology, Egyptology, Assyriology and Late Antique and Byzantine history, and Asian art. ISAW continues to acquire books, especially in areas underrepresented in other New York libraries.

Digital Programs


The Digital Projects team uses  digital technology to advance scholarship worldwide. Among its undertakings are the Pleiades project, an online, open gazetteer for ancient Greek and Roman places, edited jointly with the Ancient World Mapping Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an online project to support research on Greek and Roman papyrology.

Visit ISAW on the NYU-ISAW Web Site here