Conference Announcement: Communities and Networks in the Ancient Greek World

I look at Roman networks, myself, but the questions being posed by this conference are of wider value to archaeologists and ancient historians more generally. I know some of the participants, and know they do interesting work, so it should be well worth the while! A networks perspective I think has much to offer us, especially when these networks can be explored using theories of evolving networks (see Barabasi‘s work, listed at the bottom of this post, or trawl through some of my stuff on ‘publications’):

Communities and Networks in the Ancient Greek World

6-9 JULY 2009

Organisers: Dr Claire Taylor, Trinity College Dublin
Dr Kostas Vlassopoulos, University of Nottingham

This conference will examine the networks of interaction within and between different groups in the classical and early hellenistic periods. Questions for exploration include:

• What constituted a ‘community’ within the Greek world?
• What networks did people create, belong to, and destroy?
• How were different groups of people interconnected, and how did they negotiate the ‘boundaries’ between them?
• How did communities change in response to social, political, economic impulses?
• How can we use network theory to access the lives and activities of people for whom little traditional evidence survives?

Paulin Ismard (Université Paris Est Marne la Vallée; Equipe Phéacie): Networks of communities in classical and hellenistic Athens: cultural aspects.
Claire Taylor (Trinity College, Dublin): Social networks and social hierarchies: towards a model of social mobility in Athens.
Ben Gray (All Souls, Oxford): Exile communities and the citizen ideal in the later classical and hellenistic Greek world.
Kostas Vlassopoulos (University of Nottingham): Free spaces: contexts of interaction between citizens, metics and slaves in classical Athens.
Ben Akrigg (University of Toronto): The metic population in Athens.
Peter Hunt (University of Colorado, Boulder): Ethnic identity among slaves at Athens.
Barbara Kowalzig (Royal Holloway, London): Trading gods and trading networks: economies of trust in ancient Greece.
Vincent Gabrielsen (University of Copenhagen): Naval and grain networks at Athens.
Christy Constantakopoulou (Birkbeck, London): Beyond the polis: island koina and other non-polis entities in the Aegean.
Esther Eidinow (Newman College, Birmingham): Networks, narrative and negotiation: magical practices and polis religion.

If you would like to attend, or require further information, please contact Dr Claire Taylor claire.taylor [at] tcd [dot] ie,
Dr Kostas Vlassopoulos konstantinos.vlassopoulos [at] nottingham [dot] ac [dot] uk,
or see the website:

Graduate student bursaries are available to cover the cost of campus accommodation: please contact Dr Claire Taylor if you wish to apply, or download the form from the website:

Selected works of Barabasi relevant to a networks perspective: