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Professor Mayer holds a PhD in Classical Archaeology from the University of Heidelberg. After completing his PhD, he spent a year traveling across three continents under the auspices of the German Archaeological Institute’s ‘Reisestipendium.’ Prior to joining Yale-NUS, Professor Mayer taught at Oxford University and the University of Chicago. His work has been supported by grants and prizes, including a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University.
Professor Mayer’s research is driven by questions of how material evidence can reveal patterns of social, economic and cultural history, and enrich, complement, and contextualise evidence from ancient literature and epigraphy. His scholarly focus is on urban life and visual culture, but he also works on the archaeology of the ancient economy and the role of trade and technology in the Roman Empire. Professor Mayer is currently writing a book that explores the social and cultural consequences of long distance trade between the Mediterranean and India.
In addition to articles and book chapters, Professor Mayer has authored two books, which explore how changing patterns of urban life reflect and correspond with patterns of broad cultural and political change. His first book Rom ist dort wo der Kaiser ist (Romano-Germanic Central Museum 2002) explores the role of Rome vis-à-vis the rise of new imperial residences and new political forms in Late Antiquity. His second book The Ancient Middle Classes (Harvard University Press 2012, paperback 2014) discusses the transformation of Roman urbanism from agrotowns to commercial cities and the subsequent rise of broad commercial classes, which found their own forms of cultural expression.
Literature & Humanities 1
Roman Urban Life and Visual Culture