Networks and the Spread of Ideas in the Past : Strong Ties, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange book cover
1st Edition

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

Edited By

Anna Collar

ISBN 9781138368477
Published May 31, 2022 by Routledge
316 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


  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


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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.