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Migration is as old as humanity - or rather, life on earth since animals, too, migrate over huge distances. In many periods of the ancient world, we can study the movement of people - individuals and groups - across long distances. The Roman Empire provides an amazing case study due to wide range of archaeological, epigraphic, literary, and anthropological evidence that enable us to study small and large-scale migrations in a complex (and multi-ethnic, multi-cultural) society.
But it is not only the fact that people were moving over 1000s of kilometres. Much more interesting is the way how these people with 'migration background' were treated by their new home communities. Do we find the same phenomena that cause so many problems today: xenophobia, racism, stereotyping...? Or perhaps these feelings would have been counterproductive in such a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual empire...
THE EVIDENCE FOR MIGRATION | LES TÉMOIGNAGES POUR ÉTUDIER LA MIGRATION EN ANTIQUITÉ | QUELLENLAGE ZUR ANTIKEN MIGRATION
First we need to talk about the evidence. For any study of migration in the ancient world, it is important to take into consideration all the available information.
How did one deal with migration in the ancient world? | Comment gérait-on les migrations dans le monde antique ? | Wie ging man in der Antike mit Migration um?
MIGRATION TODAY has often been turned into a problem for many modern societies, even in Europe. Some populist politicians have turned 'migration' into a term that triggers FEAR in many people, as if they were faced with an invasion.
By contrast, MIGRATION IN ANTIQUITY was seen as the norm. This is particularly the case in the Roman World where migration to/from Rome was already a feature (and legal right) within the Latin League. The Roman empire also leads us to questions of integration and (the apparent lack of) racism.
HOW DID ONE DEAL WITH 'MIGRANTS' IN THE ANCIENT WORLD... AND WHAT DOES OUR EVIDENCE TELL US?
MIGRATIONSBIBLIOGRAPHIE | FURTHER READING ON MIGRATION IN ANTIQUITY | BIBLIOGRAPHIE SUR LA MIGRATION DANS L'ANTIQUITÉ