Isis on the Boat: Constructing the Network of the Cult of Isis in the Ancient Mediterranean and the Possibilities of Agent Based Modeling



Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The cult of Isis operated in a very competitive environment of the Late Antiquity. In comparison with other cults, it became very popular and widespread. The reasons standing behind the success of the cult of Isis are, however, only partially understood. Documented sources for the study of the cult of Isis are often incomplete or otherwise problematic. The problem, however, can be seen innovatively in the perspective of the network theory. The network theory allows us to conceptualize the spread of the cult of Isis in the ancient Mediterranean as the data flow on the network. In this model, cities and ports of the ancient Mediterranean represent nodes with different "traffic flow" and trade routes can be understood as data corridors. In this case, the attention should be partly shifted from literary sources towards the location and nature of archaeological evidence. Insights produced by this theoretical framework can be transformed into specific hypotheses that can be tested with the help of the agent based modeling. The paper informs about the basic theoretical assumptions of the forthcoming research and explains why this approach is relevant for historiographical research.
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