Sub-Project E02: Human resources: Propping up agrarian labor and threatened ruling orders between 300 und 900 C.E.
Project E02 studies how elites in late antiquity and the early middle ages managed the threat (sometimes latent, more often real enough) to their socio-economic power base posed by a paucity of agrarian labor. Central to this project is the traditionally accessible instrument of re-ordering, i.e. recourse to regulations designed to inhibit the social and spatial mobility of agrarian labor. The project will undertake a comparative study of three phases in which this phenomenon underwent significant aggravation, to the point of generating a threat discourse along with attendant practices of re-ordering in the form of new legal institutes, administrative measures, and administrative correspondence.