Prof. Dr. Konrad Vössing

BCDSS Co-Speaker and Principal Investigator

Institute of of History
Department of Ancient History
Am Hof 1e
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 7376

Konrad Vössing
© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

Konrad Vössing focuses on "dependency and militia" in the last century of the Western Roman Empire, in three areas in particular:

  1. The Roman tenant farmers (coloni) who were increasingly tied to the land and treated by the landlords as dependents. Their precarious status was nevertheless subject to a wide range of developments, and the question arises what options for action – except for the 'desertio’ – derived from the fact that the agricultural production depended upon them.
  2. The power of the landlords over the coloni made it increasingly difficult for the Roman army to fill its ranks from this source. As a consequence, the emperor resorted to non-Roman fighters engaged under contract (foedus) which eventually led to the formation of the late antique 'barbarian’ gentes. These 'foederati’ were at first strongly dependent upon the Roman state, but quickly became autonomous powers – a transition which can likely be elucidated more closely through comparison with similar phenomena in other periods and cultures.
  3. Additionally, the relations of dependences within these gentes must be analysed, and one must also question how these structures were transformed in contact with the political and social culture of the Late Roman Empire.

4 books, 5 edited volumes, 85 further scientific papers, 45 reviews. Ca. 20 international lectures and presentations, 10 completed and 8 ongoing doctorates as first and second supervisor, 60 M.A. theses and 20 B.A. theses as supervisor/first reviewer.

Habilitation and Venia legendi in Ancient History, HHU Düsseldorf, Germany

Ph.D. Thesis, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

M.A. Studies in History, Classical Philology and Archaeology, Free University of Berlin, Germany, and Université de Bordeaux III, France

since 2005
Professor for Ancient History, University of Bonn, Germany

Research Associate Positions, University of Berlin, Aachen and Duesseldorf, Germany

Teaching Award of the University of Bonn, Germany

Prix scientifique franco-allemand Gay-Lussac-HumboldtAufklapp-Text

since 2016
together with Prof. Dr. Winfried Schmitz: Head of the DFG-Project (DFG-LIS) "Cataloging and Digitization of the Bonn Papyrus Collection for Long-Term Protection and Provision for the Internet"

since 2016
Subproject Leader of the DFG Collaborative Research Center (SFB 1167) "'Macht' and 'Herrschaft' – Premodern Configurations in a Transcultural Perspective"

since 2013
Associate member of the Graduate School (GRK 1878) "Archeology of Pre-modern Economies"

since 2012
Full member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, Class of the Humanities

since 2011
Spokesperson (the German side) of the German-French Graduate School of the Franco-German University (Bonn – Strassburg – Berne – Brussels – Luxembourg – Liège) "Foule et intégration dans les sociétés antiques"

Member of the scientific advisory board of the Courant Research Center (Excellence Initiative) EDRIS, University of Göttingen: "Education and Religion: From the Early Imperial Roman Times to the Classical Period of Islam"

Spokesperson of the study group "Clothing and Religion" within the EU Interdisciplinary Research Project "Dress ID Clothing and Identities – New Perspectives on Textiles in the Roman Empire"

  • Franco-German University (DFH)
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • Henkel Foundation
  • German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2015. "Das Verhältnis 'religio – superstitio' und Augustins 'De civitate dei.'" In Kampf oder Dialog? Begegnung von Kulturen im Horizont von Augustinus 'De civitate dei.'  Internationales Symposium/International Symposium Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, Roma, 25.–29. September 2012, edited by Christof Müller, 141–185. Würzburg: Echter.
  • 2015. "Vandalen und Goten – die schwierigen Beziehungen ihrer Königreiche." In Littérature, Politique et Religion en Afrique Vandale, edited by Étienne Wolff, 11–37. Paris: Institut d’Études Augustiniennes.
  • 2014. Das Königreich der Vandalen. Geiserichs Herrschaft und Imperium Romanum. Quinque Vandalis Amatis. Darmstadt: Philipp von Zabern.
  • 2013. "Alexandre au Banquet entre Amis et Sujets." In Le Banquet du Monarque dans le Monde Antique, edited by Catherine Grandjean, Christophe Hugoniot, and Brigitte Lion, 231–260. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes.
  • 2012. As editor. With Sabine Schrenk and Michael Tellenbach. Kleidung und Identität in religiösen Kontexten der römischen Kaiserzeit. Mannheimer Geschichtsblätter, Sonderveröffentlichung 4. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner.
  • 2011. As editor. Victor von Vita. Kirchenkampf und Verfolgung unter den Vandalen in Africa. Darmstadt: WBG Academic.
  • 2008. As editor. Das römische Bankett im Spiegel der Altertumswissenschaften. Alte Geschichte. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
  • 2005. As editor. Biographie und Prosopographie. Internationales Kolloquium zum 65. Geburtstag von Anthony R. Birley. Historia Einzelschriften 178. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
  • 2004. Mensa Regia. Das Bankett beim hellenistischen König und beim römischen Kaiser. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 193. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
  • 1997. Schule und Bildung im Nordafrika der Römischen Kaiserzeit. Bruxelles: Latomus.
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