The Roman Empire was a migration machine: it constantly circulated people, objects, money, cults. This paper looks at the narrative literature in the early Roman Empire — principally the earliest Greek novels, Luke-Acts and Christian martyrologies — as centrally defined by an obsession with the traffic in humans, goods and ideas. The early Roman Empire reconceived of the role of texts: no longer ancillaries to performance, they were now the ultimate expression of a new interlocal reticulation.
Tim Whitmarsh is the Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge (UK).
Originally published at classics.nd.edu.