What’s a Membership Regime?

Membership Regimes encompass the rules, beliefs and resources that impact the settlement and integration of migrants in a polity, and which, in turn were themselves shaped by constant renegotiations between rival interests – including those of the migrants themselves.

Paul Vădan, Post-Doctoral Researcher

For ancient historian Paul Vadan migration is more than a subject of study – it’s a personal experience. He is interested in the fragile legal position of foreigners in the Greek cities and wants us to think about the what the marginalization of foreigners might mean for society and humanity.

Migrants and Membership Regimes in the Ancient Greek World

A World on the Move Migration was an important feature of the ancient Greek world. Evidence from funerary inscriptions—left behind by practically every Greek city—are pertinent reminders that every Greek city was home to populations who had migrated from elsewhere in the Greek world— and beyond—or were the descendants of immigrants.For a substantial number of […]

Sabine Neumann, Assistant Professor of Archaeology

Archaeologist Sabine Neumann wants to challenge assumptions about migration as something out of the ordinary. People, the ancients included, have always been on the move. Sabine will focus on migrant women who often tend to get overlooked and trace them and their agency – especially in cultic matters – in the material record.


Christian A. Thomsen is associate professor of ancient Greek history at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of the book The Politics of Association in Hellenistic Rhodes (Edinburgh, 2020)  and has published on various aspects of social and political organization in the Classical and Hellenistic world, especially private associations, and is co-editor of Private Associations in the Public Sphere (Copenhagen, 2015). Since 2018, […]


Sapere Aude Migrants and Membership Regimes in the Ancient Greek World (400 BCE – 100 CE) is funded through the Sapere Aude instrument by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF). ‘Sapere Aude’ is Latin for ‘dare to know’, and the grant is aimed at providing young and talented researchers with the means to develop research competencies […]

Status Assimilation of Free Foreigners

Wealthy metics constitute a conspicuous group among foreign residents in many Greek cities. In spite of their economic means, which dwarfed those of most citizens of their host communities, they were, as non-citizens, excluded from sharing directly in the political life of their adopted cities. As inhabitants, however, they were free to participate in social […]

There and Back Again

Eraton from the Cretan town of Axos leaves home to find work as a soldier. His family is captured, sold into slavery and sent on a journey across the seas, but eventually see freedom and citizen rights restored.

Bound Labour Unbound

Slavery was endemic to the ancient Greek world and in popular discourse the enslaved were predominantly foreigners. This case study examines the integration and impact of formerly enslaved on the social, political and religious life of the Greek city-states.

Foreign Cult and Female Agency

This study on foreign religious cults in the multi-ethnic society of Hellenistic Cities in Greece will address issues of interaction between different religious groups in shaping the cultic landscapes of Greek cities – an important aspect of their membership regimes – with a focus on women’s agency in establishing and participating in new cults. Our understanding […]

Fragile Foreigners

The democratic polis prided itself with the stalwart equality of its citizen members, codified in the laws of the city to guarantee the integrity and dignity of the political bodies of its members. But the inviolability of the citizen body was conceptualized through a hierarchy of status that necessarily viewed foreign residents and travelers as more vulnerable. […]


Papers, Talks and Lectures 2021 Neumann, S. Moving Material Culture – The ‘Social Capital’ of Migrants in Membership Regimes of the Hellenistic World. SCS Annual Meeting 2021. Thomsen, C.A. The Citizen Non-Citizen: Hellenistic Metics and Their Home Poleis (c. 400-31 BCE). SCS Annual Meeting 2021. Vadan, P. The Migrant Body and State-Sanctioned Violence. SCS Annual […]

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