1st Edition

Networks and the Spread of Ideas in the Past Strong Ties, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange

Edited By Anna Collar Copyright 2022
    316 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Networks and the Spread of Ideas in the Past: Strong Ties, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange gathers contributions from an international group of scholars to reconsider the role that strong social ties play in the transmission of new ideas, and their crucial place in network analyses of the past.

    Drawing on case studies that range from the early Iron Age Mediterranean to medieval Britain, the contributing authors showcase the importance of looking at strong social ties in the transmission of complex information, which requires relationships structured through mutual trust, memory, and reciprocity. They highlight the importance of sanctuaries in the process of information transmission, the power of narrative in creating a sense of community even across geographical space, and the control of social systems in order to facilitate or stifle new information transfer.

    Networks and the Spread of Ideas in the Past demonstrates the value of searching the past for powerful social connections, offers us the chance to tell more human stories through our analyses, and represents an essential new addition to the study and use of networks in archaeology and history. The book will be useful to academics and students working in the Digital Humanities, History, and Archaeology.


    1. Strong ties, networks and the diffusion of new ideas: who do you trust?
    2. Anna Collar

      Part I. Sanctuaries

    3. "Orientalising" Networks and the Nude Standing Female: Synchronic and Diachronic Dimensions of Ideology Transfer
      Megan Daniels
    4. Weak and strong ties in the diffusion of coinage during the Greek Archaic period
    5. John Mooring

    6. The Samothracian diaspora in network perspective: Strong ties and deep habits
    7. Sandra Blakely and Joanna Mundy

      Part II. Storytelling

    8. Ritual ties, ‘portable communities’ and the transmission of common knowledge through festival networks in the Hellenistic world
    9. Christina G. Williamson

    10. A Network Analysis of the Mithraic Tauroctony: Local Innovation and Diversity in Roman Mithras-Worship
    11. Kevin Stoba

    12. Networks, Apostolic Itineraries, and Mediterranean Witnesses to the Oral Traditions of South India
    13. Nathanael Andrade

      Part III. Systems

    14. Networking Christians? The spread of Christianity in the Eastern Mediterranean
    15. Rebecca Sweetman

    16. Strong Ties and Ecclesiastical Law in the Later Roman Empire
      Kilian Mallon
    17. Orthodox and heterodox networks: lollardy, neighbourhood and topography in early fifteenth-century Bristol

    Esther Lewis



    Anna Collar is a Lecturer in Roman Archaeology at the University of Southampton and a founder of The Connected Past international research network and conference series. Her research explores the material culture of religion; social networks; and landscape, mobility, and emotion.