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Author: Anna Collar

Abstract

‘Networks’ and ‘interconnectivity’ have changed 21st-century society, from the invention of the internet and international networks of corporate power, to global transport and infrastructure that enable human mobility on an unprecedented scale. People are increasingly aware of how commerce, power, and production connect the globe, and of the global implications of local events, decisions, or industries. Concurrently, ways of thinking about patterns of human behaviour and the spread of information, diseases, and fashions, are increasingly understood to result from interconnections – from networks.

Studies of the ancient Graeco-Roman Mediterranean are also beginning to acknowledge the influence of these developments, with a new wave of scholarship arguing for focus on the interconnections and relationships that form, or undermine, identities, social structures, and the spread of ideas. These studies make clear that relationships matter.

This chapter is divided into two parts. The first explores the ‘network paradigm’: different network methods and theories that have been used to study the material of the Graeco-Roman Mediterranean, drawing out the innovative results achieved, and the new questions raised. The second examines issues that arise when using network approaches, including the handicap of a patchy data record, and problems of categorisation and technical expertise. By exploring different ways that networks can be used to interpret material I show the enormous potential it holds for the study of Graeco-Roman material culture.

In: New Approaches to Ancient Material Culture in the Greek & Roman World
In: Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean
In Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean, Anna Collar and Troels Myrup Kristensen bring together diverse scholarship to explore the socioeconomic dynamics of ancient Mediterranean pilgrimage from archaic Greece to Late Antiquity, the Greek mainland to Egypt and the Near East. This broad chronological and geographical canvas demonstrates how our modern concepts of religion and economy were entangled in the ancient world. By taking material culture as a starting point, the volume examines the ways that landscapes, architecture, and objects shaped the pilgrim’s experiences, and the manifold ways in which economy, belief and ritual behaviour intertwined, specifically through the processes and practices that were part of ancient Mediterranean pilgrimage over the course of more than 1,500 years.
In: Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean
In: Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean
In: Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean
In: Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean
In: Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean