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University of Freiburg Research Project - Beyond the Silk Road: Economic Development, Frontier Zones and Inter-Imperiality in the Afro-Eurasian World Region, 300 BCE to 300 CE 2017, Germany

Publish Date: Jun 08, 2017

Deadline: Jun 23, 2017

For the interdisciplinary research project

“Beyond the Silk Road: Economic Development, Frontier Zones and Inter-Imperiality in the Afro-Eurasian World Region, 300 BCE to 300 CE” [BaSaR]

the University of Freiburg (Germany) seeks to employ a post-doctoral researcher with special expertise in the economy of the Roman Empire. The position, which will be part of an interdisciplinary research group, is full-time for three years with possible extension to five years. The start date of the project is 1 September 2017, but a slightly later date for starting the employment can be negotiated. The project is coordinated by Sitta von Reden, Professor of Ancient History at the University of Freiburg, and funded by the European Research Council. Post-doctoral researchers from outside Europe are also encouraged to apply.


Candidates with either a background in ancient history or archaeology should have submitted their PhD by the time they commence the position. Their research should have involved one or more of the following areas of Roman economic history:

- Agrarian development (including agrarian infrastructures)

- Urban development/development of urban networks

-Money, credit and banking

- Taxation/fiscal régimes

- Mobility and migration (also in connection with army movement)

- Trade and exchange involving frontier zones of the Roman empire

A geographical focus on the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East is an advantage, but not a requirement. The language of communication and publication is English, and no knowledge of German is expected. The project is hosted by the University of Freiburg and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) which offers a vibrant international research community. Candidates are expected to devote their full work time to the project and take up residence in Freiburg.

The Project:

The project brings together economic historians and archaeologists of Ancient China, the Indian Subcontinent, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. In a first step it seeks to understand comparatively the interdependence of imperial and economic development. What models of Empire and of economic development historians and archaeologists apply to explain the connection of empire (trans)formation and economic change in different world regions? What indices of economic development, or decline, can be used to make comparisons of the economies of different empires valid? In a second step the project will ask what social, economic and political factors stimulated inter-imperial exchange in the period between 300 BCE to 300 CE, which was a period of intense empire building and transformation. A particular focus will be on the politics of consumption centres, on the one hand, and frontier zone processes, exchange, and human mobility across (mobile) imperial frontiers, on the other. The goal of the second part of the project, in connection with the first, is to demonstrate the transformation of regional exchange networks in frontier zones emerging from political, economic, infrastructural, institutional and technological development within empires.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.


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