Roland Steinacher

Regional and ethnic identities
in Roman and post-imperial Europe

Ancient authors tended to describe and perceive their world through a clear dichotomy of Romans and "barbarians" — and generations of modern historians have adhered to their model, up to the very present. I intend to elaborate on the subtle nuances of identification, the layers of local and provincial identity, that existed between the purported opposites of Romanitas and barbarism. In doing so, I strive to widen and enrich recent debates on the Transformation of the Roman World (= TRW). The first millennium C. E. sets the chronological frame, with a geographical emphasis on Northern Italy, modern Austria, Southern Germany, the Eastern Alps, the Northwestern Balkans and the Adriatic region. Generally, research will focus on strategies of identification, distinction and ethnic processes before, during and after Rome. At the same time, the impact of general social, political, economic and religious developments will be taken into consideration.