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Roman Imperialism and Local Identities [Hardcover]

Louise Revell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

October 6, 2008 0521887305 978-0521887304 1
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 provides 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.

Editorial Reviews

Review

'... Revell produces a convincing argument of how the shared ideology of being Roman is there, how it gets local responses and how it can be studied through the material world.' De novis libris iudicia

Book Description

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 provides an understanding of the ways in which urbanism, the emperor and religion were part of the daily encounters of the peoples in these communities.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (October 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521887305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521887304
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,853,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars A quality post-colonial study August 4, 2012
By D. Rose
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Revell's book is very much a study of its time: The early 21st century. It is a revision of her dissertation (sometimes rather obviously), which was a quality examination of how provincial architectural spaces were employed. Revell doesn't take the "This is a Romano-British styled building, combining ___ Mediterranean features and ___ British features" approach. Instead, she explores the archaeological data from various locales, and reads from it how the structures were used in their time. From these, she makes a number of quality statements about the manifestation of local identities in certain locales, avoiding the pitfalls of "Romanization", "resistance", and other traditional and modern catchwords. She instead presents a good picture of the use of various sites and structures, and how local identities were performed through them (and not Britain/Gaul as a whole).

Revell divides her study according to type of structure, addressing public buildings, religious sanctuaries, before discussing identity and status more generally. She demonstrates a sensitivity to archaeological detail and creativity of interpretation. Additionally, her discussion is limited to the evidence provided by selected case-studies, and therefore maintains appropriate limits.

Revell questions both "What is Roman?" and "What is local?", taking the responsible approach that there was no monolithic "Roman" or "British" or "Gallic" identity. Instead, she explores the manifestation of Roman and local identity at various sites, and provides the necessary qualifications in her interpretation. However, I was glad to see that she is not afraid to make claims and to interpret the evidence.
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