What have the Romans done for us? Archaeologist examines life under the Empire

Posted by pt91 at Dec 06, 2010 05:20 PM |
A new book by an archaeologist at Leicester challenges previous histories of the ancient Roman Empire by focusing not on its rulers, but those they ruled.

Despite what history has taught us about imperialism's destructive effects on colonial societies, many classicists continue to emphasise disproportionately the civilising and assimilative nature of the Roman Empire and to hold a generally favourable view of Rome's impact on its subject peoples.

In Imperialism, Power, and Identity, Professor David Mattingly has decided to redress the balance. Drawing upon modern examples of empires and insights from post-colonial studies, he has tried to bring to life the experiences of the people that lived under Roman rule.

The result is to reveal a Roman society made up of far-flung populations whose experience of empire varied enormously.

David Mattingly is Professor of Roman Archaeology in Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History. His archaeological work has taken him from Britain to Jordan and North Africa, which all feature in this publication.

Imperialism, Power, and Identity is published by Princeton Press, at the price of £27.95 and perhaps a few preconceptions too.