Pécsi Tudományegyetem

Bölcsészettudományi Kar



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„TRANSZFER ÉS MOBILITÁS” – 4. Ókori Gazdaságtörténeti Konferencia
“TRANSFER AND MOBILITY” – 4th Conference on Ancient Economic History


2017. október 5. / October 5, 2017


Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Ókortörténeti Tanszék
University of Pécs, Department of Ancient History





10:00–10:40 Ivan Radman-Livaja (Archaeological Museum of Zagreb)
Roman Siscia and its textile industry: hazards and limits of epigraphic evidence


After observing the multitude of lead labels related to the work of fullers and dyers, one is easily tempted to consider Siscia as a major centre of textile industry, if only at the regional level. Indeed, no Pannonian city has such a vast number of inscriptions relating directly to the activities of textile pro-fessionals. As a matter of fact, it would not be wrong to affirm that no city in the western part of the Empire possesses as much epigraphic evidence for the textile craft. Nonetheless, is this really a valid argument for such a claim? Would Siscia not have been mentioned in written sources, at least once or twice, as one of the important centres of textile production if it truly enjoyed this reputation? Precisely, this is not the case. While we certainly have outstanding epigraphic evidence at our disposal, do we actually have enough data to corroborate the assertion that Siscia was or could have been an important textile production centre? The answer is far from being straightforward but this case study may be considered as a good example of how cautious one has to be when analyzing the available archaeo-logical evidence.
10:45–11:05 Hodossy-Takács Előd (Reformed Theological University, Debrecen)
The Economic Impact of the Border Zone. A Case Study from the Southern Levant
During the Iron Age small states emerged in the southern Levant. The economy of Judah, Edom, Am-mon and Moab highly depended on pastures, in some cases on copper production, and these polities also benefited from long distance trade. The material remains of the Southern border zone of Judah show evidence of mixed cultural connections. The finds from Khirbet en-Nahas and Tel Masos; Horvat 'Uza, Tel Arad and Tel Beersheba; together with some minor sites will be evaluated. The Moabite state also tried to utilize a border zone north of the Wadi Mujib, the Madaba region (Khirbet Mudayna/Wadi Thamad, Lehun, Tell el-'Umeyri, etc.). This is another area of transfer. The paper compares the eco-nomic importance of the two regions and the role they played in the development of Judah and Moab. Practicing hegemony over these ‘transfer-territories’ was an essential factor in the formation of these states.


11:10–11:30 Patay-Horváth András (University Eötvös Loránd, Budapest)
Temple Building in Archaic and Classical Arkadia


Surprizingly many temples were built in Archaic and Classical Arkadia and some of these buildings were at the same time substantial monuments. In addition to their elaborate architecture, they were often erected at strangely remote places, or were orientated differently from the usual Greek temples. Some
special cases (such as Bassae and Tegea) apart, there is practically no written evidence about the iden-tity and the underlying motivations of the temple-builders and the historical circumstances of a tem-ple-building project can only be reconstructed tentatively, mainly based on the actual remains and their findplace. The current historical interpretation assumes that the buildings expressed the identity of the local communities which commissioned these temples mainly in order to demonstrate their independence from the menacing power of Lacedaemon. Based on a close reading of the relevant sources and on practical considerations and comparable cases across the Greek world, my paper chal-lenges this view and tries to offer an alternative interpretation. It is argued that most of the temples were connected with some kind of social mobility and organized migration.


11:35–11:55 Grüll Tibor (University of Pécs)
From knowledge transfer to transplantation. Economic role of medical plants in the Roman Empire


Transfer of natural resources–including plants–is a constant phenomenon accompanying colonializa-tion. “Plant imperialism” had a powerful impact in the history of mankind: new food plants caused radical changes in the dietary customs (potatoe, corn, rice), and had long-term effect on our everyday life (sugar, tee, cocoa, tobacco). Some economic plants transformed entire industrial sectors (rubber), and some helped to treat successfully endemic deseases (quinine). “Plant imperialism” is, however, not a new symptom in the long history of colonialization. Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans practiced it long before the Spanish, Dutch, or British Empire. In this lecture we are focusing on various transfers of medical plants in the Roman Empire, viz. knowledge transfer, transplantation, and product transfer examined together with mobility of ophthalmologists. (1) “Knowledge transfer” always pre-ceded exploitation of nature. The number of medicinal plants recorded almost trebled between BC 400 and 250 AD as the Greeks and Romans discovered more about the regions beyond the Mediterra-nean. Physicians, who served in the Roman army, explored the flora and fauna of the land where they stationed, mostly in the Northern part of the Empire. Axius, a doctor of the British fleet, discovered the mysterious radix Britannicus, which became widely used eye medicine; Dioscurides, a surgeon in the Roman army, mentioned–among others–sixty Dacian plant names. This ever increasing Graeco-Roman botanical knowledge was summarized by Dioscurides, Pliny, Galen, Celsus, and Marcellus Em-piricus. (2) The second phase is the exploitation of nature and transfer of plants. The transfer of me-dicinal substances was almost entirely from East to West, and from South to North with Alexandria and, later, Rome as the major entrepôts. Medical herbs were gathered in their habitats under provision of the state, e.g. by imperial agents (procuratores) in Crete. Exotic plants were often transferred far from their original biotope and were grown in gardens. Roman herb gardens–from the small household gardens through the villa orchards to the majestic imperial botanical gardens–had important economic value: they provided medicine for the population. Moreover, their significance has spread far beyond the limes. (3) The third phase is the commercialization. Medical plants and pharmaceuticals became conventional commodities in the Roman Empire, as it has been proved by archaeology and epigraphy respectively. In 1989 a medical chest, containing 136 compartments filled with various ointments and herbs was uncovered in a shipwreck off Tuscany. One of the most interesting epigraphic evidence of the ancient Roman medicine, the so-called ‘collyrium stamps’, demonstrate that even “no-name” doc-tors in the remote places of the western half of the Roman Empire used exotic medical plants. (4) Considering that the average health condition of the Roman population was in all probability quite poor, and the people have suffered from many endemic deseases, one of which was the lippitudo, a very common eye-trouble, the “medical industry” had a considerable economic value in the Roman Empire.


12:00–12:20 Hoppál Krisztina (“Silk Road” Research Group, MTA–ELTE–SZTE)
Trade on the Eastern Fringes. Indonesia and the Sea Silk Road


Thanks to its strategic location, the Indonesian Archipelago always played a significant role in maritime networks. From the first Indianised kingdoms in West Java and East Kalimantan (the Salakanagara, the Tarumanagara and the Kutai Martadipura kingdoms) – existed between the 2nd to 7th centuries AD – extra-island trade connections became more vivid. Not only the Indian influence testifies to the inter-regionality of Indonesia, but figurines wearing clothes in style of Indonesian natives from 1st–2nd cen-tury Eastern Han/Nanyue graves of Southern China also provide early evidence of maritime contacts. Using archaeological data from South China, Java, and Kalimantan, this paper aims to give an insight of commercial activity of the early Indonesian states in antiquity. Moreover, through analyzing the certain and possible allusions of Indonesia's islands in Chinese and Roman records, it also intends to introduce the contemporary views on these important agents of the Sea Silk Road.





13:30–14:10 Gabler Dénes (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
Der Weg der Keramik von der Werkstatt bis den Verbreucher


Die Keramik gelangte häufig mehrere tausend Kilometer weit von ihren Produktionstätten, darum ist ihr Export ohne gut organisiertes Handelsnetz nicht vorstellbar. Das Militär konnte sich Keramik ganz anders beschaffen wie die Völker außerhalb der Grenzen des Reichs. Zeit der Römischen Republik wa-ren die publicani die Zulieferanten des Heeres. Die Feinkeramik wurde einfach mit dem Nachschub angekommen, die die Soldaten gemeinsam benutzten. Die Terra Sigillata wurde nicht durch die Leiter der Manufaktur auf den Bestimmungsort geliefert, sondern die Ware gelangte durch Händler auf den Markt. Hinsichtlich des Absatzes der Keramik erfüllte der Keramikhändler, der negotiator cretarius die speziellen Aufgaben. Die Lieferungskosten waren in der Antike hoch, deswegen die Kosten durch „Folge“ der Märkten vermindert wurden. Die Händler lieferten die Sigillaten aufgrund von Bestellun-gen ,darauf eine Ritzinschrift von Mainz hinweist. Ab dem 2. Jh. wurde nicht nur das System des Nach-schubs, sondern auch die Weise der Keramikgebrauchs verändert. Im Denkmaterial der Lager sind ab dieser Zeit Personennamen im Genitiv zu finden (persönliche Benutzung oder Privatbesitz). Die Sigilla-ten vertreten eine teure Keramikgattung, deswegen vorwiegend in Offiziersquartieren ans Tageslicht kamen. Über den Preis berichten uns Ritzinschriften von Flavia Solva und Juvavum. Auf den höhen Preis weisen die mit Bleiklammern festgehaltene Stücke aus den 2. und 3. Jahrhunderten. Die teure Ware wurde nur selten im Grab beigelegt in den Donauprovinzen. Depotfunde lassen auf Keramikge-schäfte bzw. Händlerdepot schließen. Die Sigilleten wurden durch den Zwischenhandel zu den Ver-brauchern übermittelt. Die Händler rechneten mit Bedarf und den Möglichkeiten des Marktes.


14:15–14:35 Lehrer Nándor (University of Debrecen)
Aquileia’s “small-world”. The Regional Network of a North-Italian Settlement


When thinking about networks we imagine two or more computers linked together. The word ’net-work’ means more than this if we take a closer look. At the beginning of the 20th century this links and connections gained more attention than before. The research revealed that we are living inside and between networks. Think about for instance roads or human body cells. The network theory examine the similarities and differencies between networks, how can we describe or define them. The subject
of this study is the city of Aquileia and its alleged conncetion within the Tenth Region of Ancient Italy based on inscriptions and literary sources. During my presentation I will try to implement the above mentioned theory into the era of the Roman Empire and try to visualize a network of cities.


14:40–15:00 Pásztókai-Szeőke Judit (University of Sopron)
Local Textile Production, Technology and Mobility in Roman Pannonia


The aim of this paper is to present the technological and social aspects of innovation and tradition in the local textile production of Roman Pannonia. Concerning its local textile production, the Transdan-ubian region became one of the best-researched regions of the Roman Empire, due to an over-a-dec-ade-long research project mostly based on the material evidence of the textile tools, but quite recently completed with of some archaeological textiles, too. As one of the results, some firm opinions and well-educated research questions can be formulated about an intertwined relationship between mo-bility of goods as well as humans and technology transfer in Roman Pannonia.


15:05–15:25 Takács Levente (University of Debrecen)
Lands in transition. Empty or not – that is the question


The problem of deserted land has been one of the main issues of late Roman economic history since A.H.M. Jones. Due to constant complaints found in narrative sources, the amount of vacant or deserted land was estimated high in the early stage of research. Since the 1950’s archaeology of Late Roman Empire has provided a great deal of data contradicting the traditional picture of empty landscape. This tension between information given by different types of sources makes all modern studies focusing on the 4th and 5th centuries try to reconcile the available data. The lecture tries to widen the focus of research by analyzing narrative sources of earlier periods of the Roman Empire. These texts may add new perspective to the problem of agri deserti.


15:30–15:50 Torbágyi Melinda (Hungarian National Museum, Budapest)
Coin use in the rural settlements of the Roman Pannonia


The studies of the coin use and coin circulation have been generally focused on army camps and towns. It is understandable because numbers of coins came to light at such sites. The larger part of the popu-lation lived outside the towns or camps and so the intensity of coin use outside towns can be a clear indicator of the degree of monetization of the Roman society. What kind of possibility we have in order to analyse the coin use in the Pannonian countryside. The present study focuses two examples: the villa in Baláca and the vicus Teuto (Budaörs) in vicinity of Aquincum.


15:55–16:15 Dagmara Król (University of Wroclaw)
Case studies for the transfer of Roman jewellery to Eastern Europe throughout Antiquity


The Roman Empire extended from the south to the north and from the west to the east of Europe. It had a huge influence on the population living within its borders and on neighbouring tribes. Goods from the Empire were treated as luxury goods and were transferred over the Eastern border as arti-facts of high regard. One of the desirable luxury goods was jewellery. Roman ornaments have been found in many sites in present countries of the Central-East of Europe. The amount and types of dis-covered items are indicative of the relationships existing between the local populations and the Em-pire. The Author will present examples of ornaments found in the Central-Eastern part of Europe and
she will try to compare finds from the territories of Poland, Czech Republic etc., drawing conclusions about contacts between local communities and the Empire.


16:20–16:40 Anna Haralambieva (Archaeological Museum of Varna)
Fibulae – Items of local workshops in the Lower Danube provinces in the 1st–3rd centuries AD


Until recently the archaeological data for the production of such items came from Colonia Flavia Siscia in the province of Panonia (now in Croatia), Brigetio in the same province (now in Hungary), from Di-ana, province of Dardania (now in Serbia), from Municipium Claudium Virinum, province of Noricum (now Austria), from Brigantium in the province of Raecia (now Bregenz in Austria) etc. The evidence of the production of highly profiled fibulae of the types IV 68, 69,73, 82 according to Almgren in the prov-ince of Moesia Inferior comes from single finds discovered with metal detectors. Unfinished or dis-carded brooches―varieties of the type A236 and fibula, a discarded item of the type of highly-profiled fibulae from group IV according to Almgren―ware bought for Varna Museum. The next find is from the Roman town on the Danube, called Raciaria, now Archar, district Vidin. It is a bow brooch with a head plate, dated towards the end of the 3rd century AD. It is cast left unfinished. I consider those the finds as the first data attesting local production of those widespread accessories of the ancient cos-tume found in the Roman provinces of Moesia Superior and Inferior. The fact that they are single finds makes it difficult to establish the location of the centres of their production. Further archaeological research could elucidate many of the questions left without answer at present. Single finds, although not an exhaustive evidence, could attest local production of fibulae.


16:45–17:05 Gacsal Dóra (University of Debrecen)
From slaves to free persons – Role of slaves in “saving” the Roman state


My presentation introduces a deeper look inside the Roman slave-society in a point of view which was poorly discussed yet. I would like to present few stories, events which show slaves who were not the cause of conflicts but they became the solution of the confrontation between the Roman state and their owner – opposite those stories of murders and revolts. Through my presentation I would like to apply typology while unfolding those features of stories. Furthermore in the light of this I wish to trans-form the bipolar relationship between slave and master to a three-pole view involving the state. Thus, presenting slaves who were not suffering their position, but played an active role in the conflicts of the Roman society.