Some Remarks on Whitehouse et al. (2019), “Complex Societies Precede Moralizing Gods throughout World History”

A Qualitative Review of Ancient World Data (Ancient Egypt, Roman Empire) from Seshat: The Global History Databank


  • Franziska Naether Universität Leipzig



Seshat, Digital Humanities, Big Data of the Ancient World, Digital History, Egyptology


This contribution reviews the methods behind historical data-gathering and data-coding in the Seshat Databank and the results illustrated in Whitehouse et al.’s (2019) “Complex Societies Precede Moralizing Gods throughout World History.” Particular emphasis is placed on data from Ancient Egypt and Roman periods. Critical reflections on the moralizing gods debate are also presented. The conclusions call for more integration between already existing projects within the Digital Humanities and warn researchers of the pitfalls of inattentive historical and qualitative analysis in Big Data scholarship.

Author Biography

Franziska Naether, Universität Leipzig

Franziska Naether is a Senior Research Associate at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Adjunct Professor at Leipzig University, Germany and Stellenbosch University, South Africa.


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How to Cite

Naether, F. . (2022). Some Remarks on Whitehouse et al. (2019), “Complex Societies Precede Moralizing Gods throughout World History”: A Qualitative Review of Ancient World Data (Ancient Egypt, Roman Empire) from Seshat: The Global History Databank. Journal of Cognitive Historiography, 6(1-2), 113–121.



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