This essay explores some possible connections between large scale migrations, conflict, and climate change in Late Antiquity, focusing on the Eurasian steppe as a site of large-scale population movements that affected both Europe and East Asia. Using this subject as a reference point, I make a case for more communication and collaboration among three interrelated groups: historians who work on different times and places, historians and climate scientists, and academics and nonacademics. My goal is not to arrive at definitive conclusions about how worsening climate conditions may have fueled mass migrations and violence in Late Antiquity. Rather, it is to argue that more historians and climate scientists should seriously engage with each other’s work as both researchers and teachers, because doing so prompts all parties to reconsider longstanding narratives about how migrations begin and why they have so often been associated with violence. Academics of many backgrounds should also engage more directly in conversations with the broader public about the relationship between climate change, migration, border policing, and violence in the 21st century. Doing so not only demonstrates the value of specialist knowledge but also raises important questions about the role academics should play in contemporary society and how to continue to bring new perspectives and ideas into the profession.

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