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Dr David Natal

Dr David Natal

Dr David Natal - Lecturer

I am a Late Antiquity and Digital Humanities specialist, and the PI of CONNEC, a research project that uses social network analysis to explore the construction of the institutional structure of the catholic church in the early middle ages. At the Department, I teach modules on Roman, late Roman, and Early Medieval History.

My research has focused on the social and religious history of late antiquity and the early middle ages. 

In my first monograph, I analysed the impact of Christian asceticism and personal charisma in the construction of clerical authority. Ever since, my interest in bringing the contributions of other Social Sciences into historical analysis has largely shaped my research agenda.

Before joining the department at Royal Holloway, I led three research projects at Manchester, Vienna, and Salamanca, which explored the cohesive effects of social competition by investigating how conflict sometimes forced late antique individuals to look for new alliances beyond their existing web of connections.

These results encouraged me to incorporate network theory and software as tools for analysing social dynamics. My current research project (ERC-Starting Grant scheme, €1,465,316)  comprises eight members and studies how the structure of clerical connections shaped the emergence and functioning of clerical institutions between the fourth and the sixth centuries. I am particularly proud of an article on this topic that have recently submitted to an international journal.

More information about my research is available via PURE

Email - 

Twitter - @ERC_connec

Website -

Digital Humanities

Late Antiquity

early middle Ages


Social Network Analysis.

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