Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Science, Society and Environmental Change in the First Millennium CE

Project description

A closer look at climate change in the first millennium

To understand the future, it is important to learn about the past. This applies to climate change, the defining crisis of our time. The ERC-funded SSE1K project will paint a holistic picture of past knowledge, resilience and sustainability, and change how scholars understand the relationships between humans of the past and environmental and climatic fluctuation. Specifically, the project will explore the environmental and climatic changes that have been identified as causes for societal and political processes and events in the Mediterranean in the first millennium CE. This was a time of remarkable change and demographic upheaval. SSE1K will study human activity and environmental change during this time and explain how it was experienced and perceived.

Objective

In the Mediterranean in the first millennium CE, environmental and climatic changes have been identified as causes for significant short- and long-term societal and political processes and events, such as epidemics and the rise and fall of empires. However, the effects of environmental or climatic variation on humans are substantially more complex than a narrative of causation of major events, since culturally specific perceptions and interpretations of environmental or climatic variation can have significant social, religious or political implications.

SSE1K builds on state-of-the-art research but goes beyond it to ask novel, important questions about relationships between past societies and environmental / climatic fluctuation. The project will pioneer an approach which is both multi- and interdisciplinary, centring on these questions: How did humans experience and perceive environmental and climatic variation across the Mediterranean in the first millennium CE, and how did they respond both intellectually and socially to these changing conditions? SSE1K addresses issues which have been raised as significant challenges for collaborative study of climate change but have yet to be fully addressed: it will investigate how the circulation of knowledge and adaptability intersect with sustainability and resilience in pre-modern societies, and how human perceptions and ways of thinking shaped societal, political or religious responses to environmental / climatic change.

The project will integrate textual, archaeological and environmental evidence to investigate a large geographical area (the Mediterranean) at a scale which balances human lived experience and climate trends (the first millennium CE) over macro- and micro-levels. This integration is crucial in producing a holistic picture of past knowledge, resilience and sustainability, and will change the ways that scholars understand the relationships between past humans and environmental / climatic fluctuation.

æ

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA CA' FOSCARI VENEZIA
Net EU contribution
€ 1 293 048,01
Address
Dorsoduro 3246
30123 Venezia
Italy

See on map

Region
Nord-Est Veneto Venezia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (3)