Ekaterina Nechaeva

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2016/2017
discipline History
External collaborator, University of Geneva

Research project

Fleeing and Staying: Military Deserters and Civil Fugitives from the Later Roman Empire


The focus of my current research activities is on the individuals fleeing from the Later Roman Empire. Such escapes were often committed by military deserters (soldiers as well as military commanders). The civil population, however, could also be involved in such type of displacements. The outgoing mobility was normally discouraged by the Roman state: the frontiers were not easily penetrable and the citizens, who were willing to move permanently out of the borders of the Empire, had to overcome considerable obstacles and, ultimately, to flee.


During the EURIAS fellowship and my stay at the Collegium Helveticum, I intend to concentrate on strengthening the theoretical foundation of this research and on exploring of the possibilities of applying digital technologies to the acquired material. Benefiting from the transdicsiplinary orientation of the Collegium Helveticum, I will examine the sociological and migration studies approaches to human mobility and in particular the so-called against-the-stream migration. Prosopographical profiles, network connections between the individuals under scrutiny, as well as their geographical displacements, can be visualized and analyzed digitally. Converging with the Collegium’s focus on Digital Societies, this exploration will be fostered by the possibilities of collaboration with experts coming from different research areas.




Ekaterina Nechaeva is an external collaborator at the Department of Ancient Studies of the University of Geneva. She holds a Ph.D in History from the University of Siena. She is a historian of Antiquity with a particular interest in Late Antiquity / Early Byzantium. She has previously held fellowships at École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, and at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Washington DC.


Selected publications


Embassies, Negotiations, Gifts: Systems of East Roman Diplomacy in Late Antiquity, Franz Steiner, Stuttgart, 2014.


'La traversée de la frontière par les 'émigrants' en fuite, selon Ammien Marcellin', in F. Déroche & M. Zink (eds), Voyages, déplacements et migrations, Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris, 2014, pp. 89-107.


'Les activités secrètes des ambassadeurs dans l’antiquité tardive', in A. Becker & N. Droucourt (eds), Ambassadeurs et ambassades au cœur des relations diplomatiques. Rome – Occident médiéval – Byzance (VIIIe s. avant J.-C. - XIIe s. après J.-C.), CRULH, Metz, 2012, pp. 183-202.


'The Sovereign’s Image Abroad: Imperial Portraits in Early Byzantine Diplomacy’, Ephemeris Dacoromana, vol. 14, 2012, pp. 199-213.


'The 'Runaway' Avars and Late Antique Diplomacy', in R. Mathisen & D. Shanzer (eds), Romans, Barbarians, and the Transformation of the Roman World, Ashgate, Burlington, 2011, pp. 175-181.


New Perspectives on Gender and Migration: Livelihood, Rights and Entitlements, (ed.), Routledge, New York, 2008.



senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Collegium Helveticum
discipline Psychology
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
Collegium Helveticum
discipline Philosophy
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Collegium Helveticum
discipline Sociology
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Collegium Helveticum
discipline Philosophy