Well-Connected Domains: Armenian Mobility and Networks Before, Within and Beyond the Early Islamic Empire, 500-900 CE
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Medieval Research / Division of Byzantine Research)
November 18, 2015, 6:30 pm, Universität Hamburg, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1 West, Rm 221, 20146 Hamburg
This lecture approaches aspects of trans-regional connectivity of historical Armenia in the period before and after the Arab conquest due to the mobility of people and objects, based on historical and archaeological evidence. For this purpose, concepts and tools of network theory as well as geospatial analysis are applied in order to visualise and analyse political, commercial, religious, material and narrative networks and their dynamics against the background of competing imperial politics from the East (Sasanian Persia, the Caliphate), the West (Byzantium) and the North (Khazars); furthermore, the flexible and mobile strategies of indigenous elites and population employing the (attempted) integration in to these wide-ranging imperial spheres are discussed. Thus despite their position at the peripheries of these empires, the centrality of the Armenian highlands and their function as multiplex hub of exchange, encounter and confrontation within Western Eurasia is highlighted. At the same time, lateral and vertical dimensions (to borrow a term from C. A. Bayly´s masterpiece “The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914”, 2004) of long-distance connectivity can be inspected also for the early medieval period.
Please find the presentation [ here ].
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (Dr. Phil. Byzantine Studies) is researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Medieval Research, Division of Byzantine Research, and at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz. His main research fields are Byzantine and Armenian history in global comparison and entanglement within the medieval world, social network analysis and complexity theory as well as ecclesiastical, social, economic and environmental history. Among his most recent publications are the volume “Harbours and maritime networks as complex adaptive systems” (co-edited with Falko Daim, Mainz 2015) and the paper “Vom Bosporus zum Ararat. Die Wirkung und Wahrnehmung des Byzantinischen Reiches in Armenien”, in: F. Daim – Ch. Gastgeber (eds.), Byzantium as Bridge between West and East. Vienna 2015, 179-215.