Mobility and movements of the escaping Sullan proscribed

PhD project supervised by Luca Fezzi e Federico Santangelo (2020-2024)

Andrea Frizzera

At the beginning of an age in which Rome developed an ever-growing awareness of its Mediterranean extension, we can observe the exploitation of new possibilities of movement that the new political configuration of the Mediterranean could offer. Not only does this spatial turn involve commerce, cultural exchanges and migration, to name a few, but political refugees as well. This project aims to conduct an investigation into the latter. So, my first step will be to start from existing prosopographic studies, ancient sources (such as literary, epigraphic, numismatic) and more recent ones on Sullan proscribed will do that not only to share their journeys and explore the ways in which they found rescue in different places in the Mediterranean Sea, but to shed light too on their choices of movement, and on their fresh identities in their newly-adopted homes. A study on the mobility of the fugitive proscribed could not just give us an insight into what extent the elites were aware of Rome’s full Mediterranean influence, but also, by comparing all accounts, provide information on how the different political and social situations exercised influence on decision-making both by the Sullan faction and the proscribed themselves. The mobility of the proscribed resulted very much affected by all these factors and it had peculiar features compared to other displacement typologies. I am also hopeful that such an area of research could contribute, from a different perspective, to enrich the debate on the significance of the Sullan proscriptions and the consequences they caused in the Roman world. Finally, I would hesitate to exclude the possibility that, by adopting such an approach, the research’s focus could expand to 43 BC proscriptions or other cases of political refugees or exiles in the first century BC.