Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft


Roman society has always been an inclusive, multilingual, movable society, where people coming from other countries - sometimes not according to their will - has often found a new home. Geographic mobility of single persons or of group of people are attested in every phase of the history of Rome, since the very beginning, with mostly positive effect on the life of the ancient city. During Late Antiquity, this phenomenon seems to have new characteristics, becoming in some cases a mass movement of large groups of people, pushed by the need, and often off the Roman authority control. The violence and the dimension of this kind of migrations are definitely one of the main and most visible aspects of the Late Roman world. But the concept of mobility and migration can be applied not only to humans but also to ideas and concepts. In fact, the late antique period seems to be characterized not only by a higher level of movement of people from the barbaricum into the limits of the Roman Empire, but also by a different kind of movement, that led to a different kind of “border-crossing”: in these terms can be actually described also the evolution in the style of the epigraphic habit that we see in Late Antiquity, where changes in form and content can be explained as a result of a “migration of style” from East to West, from poetry to prose, from pagan to Christian.