Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft
Mobility as an adaptation strategy in the post-Roman West

Mobility of objects and people in times of change is often a reaction to crisis. But it is also a form of adaptation: Adaptation as opposed to transformation is a process of active reaction to circumstances. In Tübingen I am exploring mobility at the chronological border between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages as an adaptation strategy. In face of changes in the broadly understood Mediterranean mobility became a way of actively respond to changing circumstances. It continued to connect regions and societies disjoined by political and economic developments. A reassessment of this phenomenon can bring us new knowledge of the crucial and formative time for the post-Roman West. My focus in that period lies on what we can discover about the contacts, movements and mobility of people and goods that involve manuscripts and charters as medium and focus. In Tübingen I want to revisit the patterns of those processes at the crucial period in the adaptations of the post-Roman world. I want to particularly concentrate on the mobility between urban spaces and the ways it was maintained and reflected in contemporary sources. This is part of my broader research focus on the adaptations of urban spaces in the late antique and early medieval world. At the same time I am also interested in the representation of this kind of mobility in the written sources and how these representations were used.