What is the study of Roman provinces, Middle Ages and Modern Period?
The conquest by Rome brought profound changes to large parts of Europe. Unprecedented infrastructural works such as roads and harbours were created, towns sprang up, a ribbon of fortresses was laid out along the frontiers and there is a vast increase in material culture to inform us about the lives of ordinary people.
The Roman conquest also ushered in major changes in society, technology and organisational complexity. Especially in the north these aspects of the Roman influence contrasted strongly with the native world, stimulating varied responses.
In the frontier regions the long-term military presence is the dominant factor. We will investigate various aspects of the current debate on Roman frontiers and frontier communities as well as the role of the army in the development of provincial structures and interaction between communities both within the Empire and across the frontiers. This research will be carried out both in the northwest and southeast of the Empire.
The Roman impact also brought new ideologies as well as foreign religions. One of these was Christianity, the one that was to last until the present day. Christianity and the church played an important role in continuity of civil life after the collapse of the Roman state.
In the Middle Ages the foundations for the Europe as we know it today were layed down. A number of major processes, such as religious transformation (Christianisation and Islamisation), urbanisation, social differentiation and the rise of the market economy determine the structures and dynamics of society in the Middle Ages and the Modern Period.
Europe and the Mediterranean are still dotted with monuments of this past: churches, castles, mosques, town walls, guild houses, even complete medieval town centres, monasteries and royal palaces. These monuments testify to a great effort to ‘rebuild’ Europe after the decline of the Roman state. Our research wil concentrate on the dynamics and structures of early medieval societies and their economies as well as the process of urbanisation in the High and Late Middle Ages and the Modern Period.
The study of Roman, Medieval and Modern society is a highly interdisciplinary practice. A confrontation of models from various disciplines of the developments sketched above is part of the curriculum.
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