Without Limits: Ancient History and GIS

Alexander Von Lunen, Wolfgang Moschek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

At first sight, the Roman Limes appears to be a border in the modern sense, like the former inner-German border, the border between North and South Korea or the US border with Mexico. Over the longest time in Roman history, however, there were no such border installations (as the Limes) at the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Throughout the main periods of the expansion of the Imperium Romanum we find a kind of frontier that is in a way similar to that in American history with single forts or settlements facing a “terra incognita” – at least in the mind of the settlers. The question remains why the Romans all of a sudden began to build the Limes (i.e., the walls, palisades, and trenches), although there were no other states, kingdoms, bigger tribes, or threatening military forces on the other side of it? Can it be regarded as some kind of displacement activity for the soldiers, as for example J. C. Mann argued? 1 Other historians, like E. Luttwack, 2 claim to have detected a long-term “Grand Strategy” of a deep defense of the Imperial Roman borders in it. The military function of the Roman Limes has always been the main point in modern interpretation, from the beginning of the Limesforschung (Limes Research) in the nineteenth century until today. Newer publications started to merge this viewpoint with the interpretation of the Roman Limes as having been a controlled economic borderline. 3

Delving into these questions, one immediately encounters the main problem of the Limes: no ancient author or inscription gives any reason whatsoever for building a wall, palisade, and trench from the north of England to North Africa from the middle of the second to the late third century ad . Nevertheless, there are few written sources available and many if ambiguous, archaeological findings – does this mean that the work of the historian or the archaeologist becomes futile?
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeohumanities
Subtitle of host publicationArt, history, text at the edge of place
EditorsMichael Dear, Jim Ketchum, Sarah Lucia, Doug Richardson
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter25
Pages241-250
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780203839270
ISBN (Print)9780415589796, 9780415589802
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Ancient History
Military
Trench
Historian
Palisade
Tribes
South Korea
Kingdom
Imperium
Soldiers
Written Sources
Archaeologists
American History
Archaeology
Third Century
Roman History
Controlled
Mexico
Forts
Roman Empire

Cite this

Von Lunen, A., & Moschek, W. (2011). Without Limits: Ancient History and GIS. In M. Dear, J. Ketchum, S. Lucia, & D. Richardson (Eds.), Geohumanities: Art, history, text at the edge of place (pp. 241-250). London: Routledge.
Von Lunen, Alexander ; Moschek, Wolfgang. / Without Limits : Ancient History and GIS. Geohumanities: Art, history, text at the edge of place. editor / Michael Dear ; Jim Ketchum ; Sarah Lucia ; Doug Richardson. London : Routledge, 2011. pp. 241-250
@inbook{1665b41b2a934d65925dad6d760d6a32,
title = "Without Limits: Ancient History and GIS",
abstract = "At first sight, the Roman Limes appears to be a border in the modern sense, like the former inner-German border, the border between North and South Korea or the US border with Mexico. Over the longest time in Roman history, however, there were no such border installations (as the Limes) at the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Throughout the main periods of the expansion of the Imperium Romanum we find a kind of frontier that is in a way similar to that in American history with single forts or settlements facing a “terra incognita” – at least in the mind of the settlers. The question remains why the Romans all of a sudden began to build the Limes (i.e., the walls, palisades, and trenches), although there were no other states, kingdoms, bigger tribes, or threatening military forces on the other side of it? Can it be regarded as some kind of displacement activity for the soldiers, as for example J. C. Mann argued? 1 Other historians, like E. Luttwack, 2 claim to have detected a long-term “Grand Strategy” of a deep defense of the Imperial Roman borders in it. The military function of the Roman Limes has always been the main point in modern interpretation, from the beginning of the Limesforschung (Limes Research) in the nineteenth century until today. Newer publications started to merge this viewpoint with the interpretation of the Roman Limes as having been a controlled economic borderline. 3Delving into these questions, one immediately encounters the main problem of the Limes: no ancient author or inscription gives any reason whatsoever for building a wall, palisade, and trench from the north of England to North Africa from the middle of the second to the late third century ad . Nevertheless, there are few written sources available and many if ambiguous, archaeological findings – does this mean that the work of the historian or the archaeologist becomes futile?",
keywords = "Ancient History, Geographical Information Systems, Roman History",
author = "{Von Lunen}, Alexander and Wolfgang Moschek",
year = "2011",
month = "4",
day = "14",
language = "English",
isbn = "9780415589796",
pages = "241--250",
editor = "Michael Dear and Jim Ketchum and Sarah Lucia and Doug Richardson",
booktitle = "Geohumanities",
publisher = "Routledge",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

Von Lunen, A & Moschek, W 2011, Without Limits: Ancient History and GIS. in M Dear, J Ketchum, S Lucia & D Richardson (eds), Geohumanities: Art, history, text at the edge of place. Routledge, London, pp. 241-250.

Without Limits : Ancient History and GIS. / Von Lunen, Alexander; Moschek, Wolfgang.

Geohumanities: Art, history, text at the edge of place. ed. / Michael Dear; Jim Ketchum; Sarah Lucia; Doug Richardson. London : Routledge, 2011. p. 241-250.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

TY - CHAP

T1 - Without Limits

T2 - Ancient History and GIS

AU - Von Lunen, Alexander

AU - Moschek, Wolfgang

PY - 2011/4/14

Y1 - 2011/4/14

N2 - At first sight, the Roman Limes appears to be a border in the modern sense, like the former inner-German border, the border between North and South Korea or the US border with Mexico. Over the longest time in Roman history, however, there were no such border installations (as the Limes) at the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Throughout the main periods of the expansion of the Imperium Romanum we find a kind of frontier that is in a way similar to that in American history with single forts or settlements facing a “terra incognita” – at least in the mind of the settlers. The question remains why the Romans all of a sudden began to build the Limes (i.e., the walls, palisades, and trenches), although there were no other states, kingdoms, bigger tribes, or threatening military forces on the other side of it? Can it be regarded as some kind of displacement activity for the soldiers, as for example J. C. Mann argued? 1 Other historians, like E. Luttwack, 2 claim to have detected a long-term “Grand Strategy” of a deep defense of the Imperial Roman borders in it. The military function of the Roman Limes has always been the main point in modern interpretation, from the beginning of the Limesforschung (Limes Research) in the nineteenth century until today. Newer publications started to merge this viewpoint with the interpretation of the Roman Limes as having been a controlled economic borderline. 3Delving into these questions, one immediately encounters the main problem of the Limes: no ancient author or inscription gives any reason whatsoever for building a wall, palisade, and trench from the north of England to North Africa from the middle of the second to the late third century ad . Nevertheless, there are few written sources available and many if ambiguous, archaeological findings – does this mean that the work of the historian or the archaeologist becomes futile?

AB - At first sight, the Roman Limes appears to be a border in the modern sense, like the former inner-German border, the border between North and South Korea or the US border with Mexico. Over the longest time in Roman history, however, there were no such border installations (as the Limes) at the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Throughout the main periods of the expansion of the Imperium Romanum we find a kind of frontier that is in a way similar to that in American history with single forts or settlements facing a “terra incognita” – at least in the mind of the settlers. The question remains why the Romans all of a sudden began to build the Limes (i.e., the walls, palisades, and trenches), although there were no other states, kingdoms, bigger tribes, or threatening military forces on the other side of it? Can it be regarded as some kind of displacement activity for the soldiers, as for example J. C. Mann argued? 1 Other historians, like E. Luttwack, 2 claim to have detected a long-term “Grand Strategy” of a deep defense of the Imperial Roman borders in it. The military function of the Roman Limes has always been the main point in modern interpretation, from the beginning of the Limesforschung (Limes Research) in the nineteenth century until today. Newer publications started to merge this viewpoint with the interpretation of the Roman Limes as having been a controlled economic borderline. 3Delving into these questions, one immediately encounters the main problem of the Limes: no ancient author or inscription gives any reason whatsoever for building a wall, palisade, and trench from the north of England to North Africa from the middle of the second to the late third century ad . Nevertheless, there are few written sources available and many if ambiguous, archaeological findings – does this mean that the work of the historian or the archaeologist becomes futile?

KW - Ancient History

KW - Geographical Information Systems

KW - Roman History

UR - https://www.routledge.com/GeoHumanities-Art-History-Text-at-the-Edge-of-Place-1st-Edition/Dear-Ketchum-Luria-Richardson/p/book/9780415589796

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9780415589796

SN - 9780415589802

SP - 241

EP - 250

BT - Geohumanities

A2 - Dear, Michael

A2 - Ketchum, Jim

A2 - Lucia, Sarah

A2 - Richardson, Doug

PB - Routledge

CY - London

ER -

Von Lunen A, Moschek W. Without Limits: Ancient History and GIS. In Dear M, Ketchum J, Lucia S, Richardson D, editors, Geohumanities: Art, history, text at the edge of place. London: Routledge. 2011. p. 241-250