Tag Archives: culture

Roman Imperialism, Identity, and Agency

revell roman imperialism.jpg Louise Revell, Roman Imperialism and Local Identities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

From the publisher’s description of the book —

In this book, Louise Revell examines questions of Roman imperialism and Roman ethnic identity and explores Roman imperialism as a lived experience based around the paradox of similarity and difference. Her case studies of public architecture in several urban settings provide an understanding of the ways in which urbanism, the emperor and religion were part of the daily encounters of the peoples in these communities. Revell applies the ideas of agency and practice in her examination of the structures that held the empire together and how they were implicated within repeated daily activities. Rather than offering a homogenized ‘ideal type’ description of Roman cultural identity, she uses these structures as a way to understand how these encounters differed between communities and within communities, thus producing a more nuanced interpretation of what it was to be Roman. Bringing an innovative approach to the problem of Romanization, Revell breaks from traditional models and cuts across a number of entrenched debates, such as arguments about the imposition of Roman culture or resistance to Roman rule.

A scholar of Roman architecture and Latin epigraphy, Louise Revell is lecturer in the department of archaeology at the University of Southampton.

Descriptions and access at Cambridge University Press, Amazon.

Life on the Reservation


The recent victory of the Italian right wing has brought a new wave of anti-immigration rhetoric, enforcement, and legislation.  It has also brought anti-immigrant violence.

This poster of the right wing Northern League coalition of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi warns: “They underwent immigration, and now they live on the reservations.” The point of the poster is to suggest that if Italians continue to allow foreign immigrants into the country, the native Italians will soon find themselves in a minority, subject to the arbitrary rule of those foreigners.

This image is from the slide show accompanying an article in today’s New York Times: Michael Kimmelman, “Italy Gives Cultural Diversity a Lukewarm Embrace,” New York Times, 25 June 2008.