Fleeing and Staying: Military Deserters and Civil Fugitives from the Later Roman Empire

The focus of my current research activities is on the individuals fleeing from the Later Roman Empire. Such escapes were often committed by military deserters (soldiers as well as military commanders). The civil population, however, could also be involved in such type of displacements. The outgoing mobility was normally discouraged by the Roman state: the frontiers were not easily penetrable and the citizens, who were willing to move permanently out of the borders of the Empire, had to overcome considerable obstacles and, ultimately, to flee.

During the EURIAS fellowship and my stay at the Collegium Helveticum, I intend to concentrate on strengthening the theoretical foundation of this research and on exploring of the possibilities of applying digital technologies to the acquired material. Benefiting from the transdicsiplinary orientation of the Collegium Helveticum, I will examine the sociological and migration studies approaches to human mobility and in particular the so-called against-the-stream migration.

Prosopographical profiles, network connections between the individuals under scrutiny, as well as their geographical displacements, can be visualized and analyzed digitally. Converging with the Collegium’s focus on Digital Societies, this exploration will be fostered by the possibilities of collaboration with experts coming from different research areas.