The Population of Augusta Traiana: A Social Network Perspective

Annamaria Pazsint

Time and Place: Thursday, 01.07., 16:00–17:00 – Room 3
Session: Poster Session – Networks and Agency

Keywords: Augusta Traiana; population studies; network research

The present proposal „The Population of Augusta Traiana: A Social Network Perspective”  has as goal to provide an overview on the population of Augusta Traiana and its social networks  during the Roman period. In more detailed terms, the presentation will dwell on the quantitative and  qualitative data on the population of Augusta Traiana and its territory (up to the 3rd century AD),  focusing on the networks which can be identified among the inhabitants, and this through the help of  both traditional and new tools and methodologies. The sources on which the analysis is based are the  Greek and Latin inscriptions coming from the area and published in the specific corpora or  publications (IGB III.2, AE, SEG etc.).  

Ulpia Augusta Traiana was at its origin a Thracian settlement, dated to the 6 th -5 th century  BC, which previous to the Roman rule was named Beroe. The choice of this particular city is due to  the fact that it was the second most important city in the province of Thrace, after Philippopolis, and  due to the fact that its historical evolution as well as its location, gives ground to the existence of  complex and dynamic relations among the population along the centuries.  

From a historiographical perspective, prosopographical and population studies on Augusta  Traiana and its territory have been written at a smaller scale, regarding for example specific  individuals (Nikolov 1990, Camia 2013) or onomastic specificities (Dana 2013, Dana 2014, Dana  2016). In this context, the study of the population of Augusta Traiana has left room for more research,  our intention being to provide a comprehensive outlook on it with the help of new methodologies.  From a methodological point of view, the proposal implies the using of both the traditional  (epigraphic investigation, prosopographical reconstructions) and the newest research methodologies  (implying the use of the Romans 1 by 1 database, software such as Gephi for network analyses). By  including these innovative tools for the management, analysis and visualisation of the data which  come from inscriptions, traditional approaches will be enhanced by identifying specific patters or  characteristics in social networks. Both the use of databases and Social Network Analyses have  proven to be effective in this type of research. The corresponding epigraphic data will be ingested in  the Romans 1 by 1 database, methodological step which will help with the further processing and  analysis of the data. The database itself was created for filling in an existing gap in the study of  Roman-era population and it tries to begin answering the need of properly cataloguing, in an open access manner, all attested inhabitants of the Roman Empire, following the principles of a population  database (Mandemakers, Dillon 2004), not a sources aggregator. By applying SNA to Augusta  Traiana’s dataset we intend to make the most of the prosopographical information, connecting the  population beyond their nuclear family.  

In what concerns the envisaged results, they regard not only the statistical data, but also the  qualitative information on the population and its interconnectivity; we estimate that around 200  inscriptions will provide information on the population of Augusta Traiana, which in its turn will  amount to around 300 individuals.  

Overall, through these objectives the aim of this presentation will be to accurately reflect the  dynamic of the population of Augusta Traiana over the centuries, representing a plaidoyer for the  integration of new tools and methodologies in the study of the ancient world.  

Selective bibliography  

Boteva, D. 1992. „Augusta Traiana and its territory.“ Index. Quaderni camerti di studi romanistici  20: 25-30.  

Camia, F. 2013. „Roman citizens of Thrace. An overview.“ In Thrakika Zetemata. II. Aspects of the  Roman Province of Thrace, edited by M.-G. Parissaki, 165-218. Athens, Difussion de Boccard.  

Dana, D. 2013. „Les Thraces dans les diplômes militaires. Onomastique et statut des personnes.“ In  Thrakika Zetemata. II. Aspects of the Roman Province of Thrace, edited by M.-G. Parissaki, 219- 269. Athens, Difussion de Boccard.  

Dana, D. 2014. Onomasticon Thracicum (OnomThrac). Repertoire des noms indigènes de Thrace,  Macédoine orientale, Mésies, Dacie et Bithynie. Athens, Difussion de Boccard.  

Dana, D. 2016. „Une signature d’artisan sur le fourreau d’une épée trouvée près de Béroia de  Thrace.“ ZPE 199: 60-64.  

Mandemakers, K., Dillon, L. 2004. „Best Practices with Large Databases on Historical  Populations.“ Historical Methods. A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History 37.1: 34- 38.  

Mihailov, G. 1965. Inscriptiones Graecae in Bulgaria Repertae, III.2. Serdica, Academiae  Litterarum Bulgaricae.  

Millgram, S. 1967. „The Small-World Problem.“ Psychology Today 1: 61-67. Nikolov, D. 1990.  „Vétérans de la XXXe légion Ulpia à Augusta Traiana, province Thrace.“ Archeologija 32.4: 34-36.  

Varga, R. 2017a. „Romans 1by1 v.1.1. New developments in the study of Roman population.“  Digital Classics Online 3(2): 44-59.  

Varga, R. 2017b. „Romans 1by1. Documenting a population database for the Roman world.“ In  Digital and traditional epigraphy in context. Proceedings of the EAGLE 2016 International  conference, edited by Orlandi S. et al. (eds.), 333-341. Roma, Sapienza Universita Editrice.  

Varga, R., Pázsint, A.I., Boda, I., Deac, D. 2018. „Romans 1 by 1. Overview of a Research Project.“  Digital Classics Online 4.2: 37-63.