Reconstructing Roman trade networks [chapter]

Jan Lotz
2022 Digital History and Hermeneutics  
This paper focuses on my study on trade and transport networks in the Gaulish and German provinces during the Roman Empire and the challenges that came with using network analysis with fragmented or uncertain sources, and is based on my perspective on and experiences during this study. First I give a brief glimpse of digital and ancient history, followed by an introduction to the sources, then some remarks on epigraphy in the digital age, as well as the application of network analysis and its
more » ... fficulties, and finally some concluding thoughts. No matter how spectacular, innovative, or promising new digital tools, methods, and ways of conducting research may seem, the most important thing is to have a critical mindset, especially regarding the digital, the sources, and the way the digital is applied to those sources. 1 This leads to an urgently needed combination of source criticism and tool and method criticism. While there is no point in denying the opportunities the digital turn offers, and that it will change today's academia landscape, it is not the panacea for historiography and should not be treated as such. 2 Acknowledgments: My thanks go to Andrea Binsfeld (University of Luxembourg), Stephen Robertson (George Mason University, Washington DC, Virginia), and Leif Scheuermann (University of Graz) for their helpful discussions and feedback; the members of the Digital History & Hermeneutics doctoral training unit, especially Antonio Maria Fiscarelli and Marleen de Kramer, for their feedback; as well as the editors of this volume, Andreas Fickers and Juliane Tatarinov (both University of Luxembourg). Unless otherwise noted, all translations are by Helena Nowak-Smith (Editing de Luxe).
doi:10.1515/9783110723991-009 fatcat:tzkmz5wjy5ab5igyks7pxiqw24