The project, financed through the 2015 Wittgenstein-Prize of the Austrian National Research Foundation (FWF, until 2022) awarded to Claudia Rapp, highlights the role of Byzantium as a global culture and analyses the internal flexibility of Byzantine society. It aims to contribute to a re-evaluation of a society and culture that has traditionally been depicted as stiff, rigid and encumbered by its own tradition. This will be achieved by the exploration of issues of mobility, microstructures and personal agency. The project is conducted in cooperation with the University of Vienna. A commented collection of sources translated into English ("Sourcebook") on mobility and migration in the Byzantine Empire as well as an interactive database for the cartographic representation of migrations in the Byzantine area are being worked on.

Furthermore, individual research projects deal (among other fields) with the following topics: language multiplicity in Armenia and its impact on the relations to Byzantium (Emilio Bonfiglio), global connections as well as seminomadic groups in the Caucasus (Nicholas Evans, 2016-2017), agency of groups and individuals in texts and charters of the 13th century (Matthew Kinloch), mobility of elites as well as microstructures and transcultural phenomena in the empire of Nikaia (1204-1261) (Ekaterini Mitsiou, 2016-2018), digital tools for the mobility of people and objects as well as concepts of social and spatial theories (Johannes Preiser-Kapeller), organised lay piety and religious group formation (Claudia Rapp), the mobility of manuscripts between Constantinople, Mount Sinai and Southern Italy (Giulia Rossetto, since 2018) and typologies and microstructures of revolt (Yannis Stouraitis, 2016-2017).

Cooperation partners


Claudia Rapp (project leader)

Emilio Bonfiglio (Univ. Vienna, 2016-2019)

Nicholas J. B. Evans (OEAW, 2016-2017)

Matthew Kinloch (OEAW, 2017-2019)

Dirk Krausmüller (Univ. Vienna, 2020-2021)

Ekaterini Mitsiou (Univ. Vienna, 2016-2018, 2021)

Ilias Nesseris (OEAW, 2019-2020)

Christodoulos Papavarnavas (OEAW, 2019-2021)

Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (OEAW)

Giulia Rossetto (OEAW, 2018-2020)

Rustam Shukurov (OEAW, 2020-2021)

Grigori Simeonov (Univ. Vienna, 2019-2021)

Yannis Stouraitis (OEAW, 2016-2017)

Paraskevi Sykopetritou (project coordinator, Univ. Vienna, 2016-2021)