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Convergence and Divergence: One Empire, Many Cultures

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Chapter Summary

Homogenization is what may follow as a consequence of incorporation, or must follow as a consequence of integration. The main point is a different one: that the very fact of integration (convergence) carries divergence within itself. This chapter focuses on migration (in the sense of human geographical mobility, even when unfree, involuntary and so on - this is all called "migration" in a social science context). That local community is faced with - as long as migration continues - the introduction of new habits, new products. Seen from within their own cultural repertoire this means divergence. Paradoxically, in every constituent part of the empire, convergence means divergence. Roman empire, but which seen from a cultural point of view is not Roman at all, but, in its own way, as multicultural as any multicultural society of today.

Keywords:convergence; divergence; homogenization; migration; Roman empire; socio-cultural integration

10.1163/9789004256675_017
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