Research group: Ancient, medieval, and early modern studies (RAMES)

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Battle of the Milvian Birdge by Giulio Romano


Research group: Ancient, medieval, and early modern studies gather scholars working with the period from the earliest human societies until c. 1800. The Department of archaeology, history, cultural studies and religion has strong traditions within discipline- and period based scholarship. The research group develops this by organizing joint PhD- and manuscript seminars, and by serving as a platform for joint projects and activities with partners within and outside the University of Bergen.

Coordinator: Professor Eivind Heldaas Seland

Spring 2022

8.2. Lecture: Stephan Sander-Faes: “Metamorphoses. Lordship, Taxation, and Bureaucracy in Post-1620 Bohemia”.

7.-8. juni: Workshop: Religious networks in Antiquity. Programme and Zoom-links.

Program fall 2021

(1.10: Guest lecture, Jan Bremmer, Groningen, in honor of Ingvild Gilhus and Einar Thomassen: Religious Pluralism in the Ancient World: Herodotus, the Roman Republic and Late Antiquity | Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur- og religionsvitenskap | UiB) 

05.10: Christina Videbech: “Discussing social and political activities in the Basilica of St Peter between the 4th and the 6th century CE”. Seminarrom 1, Øysteinsgate 3, 14.15.

19.10: Stephan Sander-Faes: "The Composite City: Cities, Power Elites, and States in Early Modern European History". Seminarrom 1, Øysteinsgate 3, 14.15.

02.11: Eivind Heldaas Seland: “The Classical world in a Workers’ Encyclopedia (Arbeidernes leksikon, 1931)”. Seminarrom 1, Øysteinsgate 3, 14.15. 

09.11: Kirsi Salonen, "Sin, crime and other ecclesiastical questions in the middle ages". Seminarrom 418, Øysteinsgate 3, 14.15.

23.11: Literature discussion: Wickham, C. (2021). How did the Feudal Economy Work? the Economic Logic of Medieval Societies. Past & Present, 251(1), 3-40. Seminarrom 1, Øysteinsgate 3, 14.15.

December, date pending, half-day manuscript seminar and lunch. Papers by Christina Videbech, Anna Danilova, Tomas Høisæter.



(past programs below)


Ongoing projects

Regional Religious Networks in the Roman Empire (RENE; 2020-2022, PI Francesca Mazzilli) is a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie-IF-project. It investigates the diffusion of religious traditions and architectural style in rural and urban cult sites in relation to the regional mobility of elite and interactions between rural and urban communities at the edge of the Roman Empire (the Hauran, Southern Syria, and Lusitania, roughly Portugal and the western part of Spain) through social network analysis and spatial analysis.

Favorable Conditions of the Spread of the Cult of Asclepius across the Transportation Network of the Roman Mediterranean: A Quantitative Evaluation (ASCNET; 2020-2022, PI Tomas Glomb) is a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie-IF-project. The research of this project applies methods of formalized modeling to explore how the Roman army and infectious diseases in the era of the Roman Empire could have contributed to the spread of the cult of Asclepius."


Ancient Cities (PI Simon Malmberg): The ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership "Ancient Cities" is an international project which brings together Universities from six different European countries to enhance digital learning in the humanities. The project aims at producing the MOOC Discovering Greek & Roman Cities intended for a broad audience and a digital learning module for students of higher education institutions.


Recent projects

Globalization, Urbanization and Urban Religion in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Roman and Early Islamic periods. Joint Committee for Nordic research councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences exploratory workshops' grant 2018-2019. Helsinki University, Aarhus University, University of Bergen (PIs Simon Malmberg and Eivind Heldaas Seland).

NeRoNE: Networks in the Roman Near East (RCN)

Palmyrena: City, Hinterland and Caravan Trade between Orient and Occident (RCN)



Program Spring 2021

April 27, 14.15: Christian Mauder "Managing Diversity at an Islamic Court: Law, Gender, and Theology in the Salons of Sultan Qāniṣawh al-Ghawrī (r. 1501–1516)". Digital or hybrid.

May 11, 14.15: Tomas Høisæter. “Sten Konow, indolog men også historikar» Manuscript seminar. On campus if possible.

Date pending, late May or early June: Book launch: Leidulf Melve and Eivind Heldaas Seland: “Hva er globalhistorie”. Campus.

June 8: Book seminar: Walter Scheidel: Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity (2019).

June 12: Seminar (online og på campus) i forbindelse med professor Kåre Berges 70-års dag, i samarbeid med Norsk gammeltestamentlig selskap og Teologisk fakultet, UiO. Ta kontakt om du ønsker å være til stede på campus.

Program Fall 2020

29.9. 14.15: Stephan Sander-Faes. State and Lordship in Central Europe, 1750-1850. Øysteinsgate 3, Seminarrom 1.

13.10. 14.15: Tomas Glomb. The popularity of Asclepius in times of the Antonine and Cyprian plague: A quantitative approach. Øysteinsgate 3, Seminarrom 1.

27.10. 14.15: Francesca Mazzilli. The impact of the elite and the landscape on the religious life of the Hauran. Zoom.

12.11. 10.15: Guest lecture Roland Fletcher, University of Sydney, title pending. Zoom. Organised by Research group humans and materiality.

17.11. 14.15: Simon Malmberg. What was the port of ancient Rome? A survey along the banks of the Tiber. Zoom.

24.11. 14.15: Book-seminar: Greg Woolf (2020). The Life and Death of Ancient Cities : A Natural History. Zoom (members only)

8.12. 12.15-16. Manuscript seminar. Øysteinsgate 3, Seminarrom 1 (members only).


Program Spring 2020

January 23: Masterclass for Tomas Høisæter, opponent Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams (SOAS, University of London).

April 14: Guest lecture, Benjamin Allport. Moved online due to Covid-19-situation.

May 14: Guest lectures, Francesca Mazzilli and Tomáš Glomb, Seminarrom 1, Øysteinsgate 3, 13.30. Might be postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19-situation.

June: Manuscript seminar (date to be announced).

Visiting Scholars:

Professor Michael E. Smith, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University (cancelled due to Covid-19-situation).

Professor Roland Fletcher, University of Sydney (cancelled due to Covid-19-situation).


Program Fall 2019

September 5: Manuscript seminar.

September 23-25: Workshop : City, Hinterland, and Environment: Urban Resilience in the Late Roman and Early Islamic Period. Joint Committee for Nordic research councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Helsinki University, Aarhus University, University of Bergen. Program

September 25: Guest lecture Matt Simonton, Arizona State University: Classical Greek Oligarchy – A Political History.

September 26.-27.: Workshop: The Road More Travelled, the Story Less Told: Uncovering the Ancient Roots of Modern Oligarchy. Program.

November 20: Guest lecture: A Tale of Four Projects: Archaeological Research in the Aegean Islands by the Norwegian Institute at Athens,  Zarko Tankosic, Norwegian institute at Athens. Program/abstract.

December 18: Christmas seminar

Guest scholars:

Professor Michael Sommer, Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg (week 41 and 42)