Topographies in Motion: Urban Movement and Mobility in Late Antiquity (4th to 6th Centuries)

Topographies in Motion: Urban Movement and Mobility in Late Antiquity (4th to 6th Centuries)

Dr. Florian Wöller, Center for Advanced Studies (CAS), LMU Munich
Vom - Bis
04.10.2018 - 05.10.2018
Florian Wöller

What defines a late-antique city? For some years, scholars have debated this question starting from infrastructure, monuments, squares etc. In this perspective, cities appear as rather static environments and as vessels, as it were, for urban activity and life to take place. More recent research, however, is emphasizing performative aspects of the antique city. Primarily with respect to republican and post-republican times, urban movement and mobility have become a key for understanding how human life within antique cities unfolded and how this motion created and altered urban spaces.

This workshop asks how late-antique urban topographies were constituted, shaped, and changed by societies, people(s), objects, and goods moving through these cities and across their boundaries. More specifically, the workshop pursues a case-by-case approach. We are interested in case studies and contributions that examine particular practices in specific cities from across the late-antique Roman Empire. Through the lenses of movement and mobility, applicants may consider the making and un-making of (different kinds of) urban spaces, their religious, social, or economic meaning, their symbolic value, or their function as means of representation and performance. While scholars are encouraged to draw on all relevant types of sources, individual cases should be discussed in dialogue or contrast with the respective urban topographies.

Forms of urban movement and mobility to consider may include:
- Spatial mobility of objects and artefacts (e.g. images, religious objects, statues)
- Private and communal urban movement
- The role of religion for urban movement and mobility
- Commercial movement and the mobility of goods
- Traffic routes and their impact on urban and suburban movement and mobility
- Mobility (spatial and social) and the boundary between city and countryside

We encourage submissions both from established scholars as well as younger colleagues working in all relevant disciplines (e.g. history, archaeology, religious studies and church history, art history, literature). Simon Malmberg (Classical Archaeology, Bergen) will be giving the keynote lecture.

Applicants are invited to submit a short CV and an abstract for a paper of 20 minutes. Please submit your application by 23 February 2018 to Florian Wöller (

The workshop will be hosted at the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) at LMU Munich. Travel and accommodation expenses can be reimbursed up to a certain amount.



Florian Wöller

LMU München, Geschiwster-Scholl-Platz 1
D-80539 München