Skip to main content

Big Bang Data

EPNet: Big Data & History

By José Remesal, Albert Diaz-Guilera, Xavier Rubio Campillo and Alessandro Mosca



EPNet ( is an ERC Advanced Grant research project (03/2015 - 02/2020) that aims at studying the political and economic dynamics of the Roman Empire food production and trade system by exploring different historical hypoteses through computer modeling and simulations. For this reason, the project is coordinated by the CEIPAC (Classical Antiquity Studies on Provincial Interdependence Centre) and involves scholars from Ancient and Economic History, Physics and Computer Science. The project counts with one of the richest database for roman amphorae and epigraphy, one of the most precise archaeological and historical semantic markers available from the Roman Empire market. This large dataset, created by the CEIPAC in the last 20 years, provides information on different products, geographical origin and economic transactions, as well as on the social positions and relationships between those involved in trade. Furthermore, the possibility of dating the information with great precision makes it possible to undertake fine-resolution studies of the dynamics of trading networks over time and scale, from regional case studies to the entire Mediterranean basin.

In the presentation we will present the general idea of the project and a first approximation in the use of big data in historical research, from a pilot case study considering the oil trade network from the Betica province (ancient Andalusia).

You might also be interested in