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PoM Pontica Magna

Central European University

Global Teaching Fellow


Research project: Making the Imperial Elite: Senatorial Aristocracy in the Later Roman Empire

The increasing level of political and economic integration results in the development of pan-European administrative elites. Before the onset of modernity, the Later Roman Empire was the only political structure that provided the unified and centralized administrative framework. For the first time, aristocracies from throughout European continent were amalgamated in one hierarchically-structured institution. This project explores the social and cultural impacts of the formation of a new governing class. The first part traces the new patterns of geographical and political mobility (objective 1-2) initiated by the new institutional arrangements, tracing the ways in which imperial officials conducted their relations with other representatives of imperial aristocracy, and with the local societies from which they originated. The second part looks at the effects of these transformations on aristocratic identity as mediated in art (objective 3-4). Proposed research on the history and art history of senatorial elites will contribute to the comparative study of government in the pre-modern world. It will demonstrate that the growth of new supra-regional political institutions markedly changed the self-representation the late Roman governing class. The conclusions of this project will be presented as a paper and a publication at NEC.

A full-length study is available here.