2020Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/24034
‘Knitting Together the Unconjoined’: Mediterranean Connectivity Revisited
An-Institute und nicht zur HU gehörige Einrichtungen
The ancient geographer Strabo imaged Rome’s conquest of a Mediterranean-wide empire as a ‘knitting together’ of ‘unconjoined’ regions – unconjoined because of a lack of harbours or other natural deficiencies. This article takes the image seriously as a point of entry into the vexed topic of connectivity, in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. In current global history, connectivity has been found everywhere but is seldom precisely defined. The article proposes a return to the type of definition offered in P. Horden and N. Purcell’s The Corrupting Sea (2000), a definition according to which connectivity is inseparable from microregional ecology. After reviewing the intellectual origins and ramifications of that definition, the article critically surveys alternative terminologies that have emerged since 2000, and finds them mostly unhelpful as guides to the nature of Mediterranean contacts and communications. It next examines recent work on recovering and mapping Roman movements of people and goods as a modern version of Strabo, and as suggestive of the directions the subject may profitably take in future. Finally, it offers two examples showing, respectively, the complexities of connectivity within the Mediterranean region (coral fishing) and the differences in pattern and chronology between connectivity around the sea and connectivity across Asia (bubonic plague).
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published first as (erstmalig folgendermaßen erschienen): Peregrine Horden: “‘Knitting Together the Unconjoined’: Mediterranean Connectivity Revisited”. In: Zeitschrift für Ethnologie / Journal of Social and Cultural Anthropology 145.2 (2020), Special Issue “Rethinking the Mediterranean”, pages 197–218. Die Zweitveröffentlichung dieses Artikels unter der Lizenz Creative Commons Namensnennung 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) erfolgte mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Reimer Verlags.