This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Thursday 6 June 2024, 12pm to 1pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

The rich have always fascinated, sometimes in problematic ways. Medieval thinkers feared that the super-rich would act ‘as gods among men’; much more recently Thomas Piketty made wealth central to discussions of inequality.

Guido Alfani, author of As Gods Among Men, will offer a history of the rich and super-rich in the West, examining who they were, how they accumulated their wealth and what role they played in society. Covering the last thousand years, with frequent incursions into antiquity, and integrating recent research on economic inequality, Guido finds - despite the different paths to wealth in different eras - fundamental continuities in the behaviour of the rich and public attitudes towards wealth across Western history. Join him for a novel perspective on current debates about wealth and income disparity.

This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You will receive a link to join a couple of days before the event and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

About the speaker

Guido Alfani is Professor of Economic History at Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. He is the author of Calamities and the Economy in Renaissance Italy: The Grand Tour of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the co-author of The Lion’s Share: Inequality and the Rise of the Fiscal State in Preindustrial Europe.


University of York