Symploke and complexio
Entangling and Dis-Entangling the Networks of the Roman Empire of the East in the Early Medieval World, Fourth-Ninth Century CE
The paper synthesises and develops further several attempts to model aspects of the complexity of the infrastructure and administrative organisation of the Roman Empire between the 4th and 8th century CE based on evidence from historiography, historical geography, sigillography and archaeology. It provides a short introduction into concepts and analytical tools of network theory. Furthermore, the paper combines this approach with a visualisation of the spatial range of Roman power and maps based on mobility and perceptions of contemporaries. Thereby, the already successful integration of the ‘relational turn’ to Byzantine studies shall be demonstrated.
Keywords: Early Medieval Mediterranean • Late Antiquity • Complexity theory • Network analysis • Late antiquity • Roman infrastructure • Roman administration