Camel caravan

Camel caravan
Mosaic from Deir al-Adas, Syria, 8th century (photo: J.C.Meyer)
The research project Mechanisms of cross-cultural interaction: Networks in the Roman Near East (2013-2016) investigates the resilient everyday ties, such as trade, religion and power, connecting people within and across fluctuating imperial borders in the Near East in the Roman Period. The project is funded under the Research Council of Norway's SAMKUL initiative, and hosted by the Department of archaeology, history, cultural studies and religion, University of Bergen, Norway.

Project manager / blog editor:

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

New book out: Sinews of Empire: Networks in the Roman Near East and Beyond


Our project is inevitably coming to an end, but we'll still have results to present for some time to come. Just today we sent our edited volume Sinews of Empire: Networks in the Roman Near East and Beyond to the press. It is already available for preorder at a special pre-publication price at Oxbow Books.

Below is the cover-text and table of contents:

A recent surge of interest in network approaches to the study of the ancient world has enabled scholars of the Roman Empire to move beyond traditional narratives of domination, resistance, integration and fragmentation. This relational turn has offered tools to identify, map, visualise and, in some cases, quantify interaction based on a variety of ancient source materials. It also provides a terminology to deal with the everyday ties of power, trade and ideology that operated within, below and beyond the superstructure of imperial rule. Thirteen contributions employ a range of quantitative, qualitative and descriptive network approaches in order to provide new perspectives on trade, communication, administration, technology, religion and municipal life in the Roman Near East and adjacent regions.

Sinews of empire and the relational turn in classical scholarship
Håkon Teigen and Eivind Heldaas Seland

Going mental. Culture, exchange and compromise in Rome’s trade with the East
Wim Broekaert

Sinews of belief, anchors of devotion: the cult of Zeus Kasios in the Mediterranean
Anna Collar

Numismatic communities in the northern South Caucasus 300 BCE–300 CE: A geospatial analysis of coin finds from Caucasian Iberia and Caucasian Albania
Lara Fabian

The diffusion of architectural innovations: Modelling social networks in the ancient building trade
Henrik Gerding & Per Östborn

Texture of empire: Personal networks and the modus operandi of Roman hegemony
Michael Sommer

Sinews of the other empire: The Parthian Great King’s rule over vassal kingdoms
Leonardo Gregoratti

Speech patterns as indicators of religious identities: the Manichaean community in late antique Egypt
Mattias Brand

Networking beyond death: Priests and their family networks in Palmyra explored through the funerary sculpture
Rubina Raja

Trade networks among the army camps of the Eastern Desert of Roman Egypt*
Yanne Broux

Palmyrene merchant networks and economic integration in competitive markets
Katia Schörle

Businessmen and local elites in the Lycos valley
Kerstin Droß-Krüpe

The social networks of late antique Western Thebes
Elisabeth O’Connell and Giovanni R. Ruffini


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