This provocative and often controversial volume examines concepts of ethnicity, citizenship and nationhood, to determine what constituted cultural identity in the Roman Empire. The contributors draw together the most recent research and use diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives from archaeology, classical studies and ancient history to challenge our basic assumptions of Romanization and how parts of Europe became incorporated into a Roman culture.
Cultural Identity in the Roman Empire breaks new ground, arguing that the idea of a unified and easily defined Roman culture is over-simplistic, and offering alternative theories and models. This well-documented and timely book presents cultural identity throughout the Roman empire as a complex and diverse issue, far removed from the previous notion of a dichotomy between the Roman invaders and the Barbarian conquered.
Ray Laurence is a Lecturer in the Department of Classics at the University of Reading. He is the author of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change (Routledge 1999) and Roman Pompeii: Space and Society (Routledge 1994). Joanne Berry is Rome scholar in Italian studies at the British School at Rome. Her research interests are Pompeii, artefact assemblages and the Roman house.
'A timely intervention in one of the most energised and controversial fields of current academic enquiry ... an important volume that deserves to be read by all involved in the area.' - Bryn Mawr Classical Review