Rome and the Western Greeks, 350 BC-AD 200: Conquest and Acculturation in Southern Italy

Rome and the Western Greeks, 350 BC-AD 200: Conquest and Acculturation in Southern Italy

Rome and the Western Greeks, 350 BC-AD 200: Conquest and Acculturation in Southern Italy

Rome and the Western Greeks, 350 BC-AD 200: Conquest and Acculturation in Southern Italy

Synopsis

The history of the Greek cities of Italy during the period of Roman conquest and under Roman rule form a fascinating case study of the processes of Roman expansion and assimilation and of Greek reactions to the presence of Rome. This book reassesses the role of Magna Graecia in Roman Italy and illuminates the mechanisms of Roman control and the process of acculturation. Specifically it explores the role of the Greek cities of Italy as cultural mediators between the Greek and Roman worlds. It is the first full length treatment of the region as a whole in English for over thirty years.

Excerpt

Studies of Magna Graecia and its constituent cities have multiplied rapidly over the past twenty years. The vast amount of excavation in the region has greatly increased the evidence at our disposal, and surveys have added immeasurably to our understanding of the economy and society of southern Italy. Despite this, it is a region which remains relatively little known in the English-speaking world. In particular, the later history of Magna Graecia-the Hellenistic and Roman periods-have not received the attention they deserve, despite posing some fascinating historical problems.

This book originated as a Ph.D. thesis for the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which aimed to explore selected problems connected with the Roman conquest of the South and the post-conquest processes of assimilation. In the evolution from thesis into book, I have widened the scope of the discussion in order to place some of the more specific issues into a broader context, and to consider the conquest of the South as a case study of Roman treatment of a particular region. Given the enormous range of archaeological material now at our disposal, this cannot hope to be a complete synthesis of all available data, but I hope that it will contribute to the debate on the history of Magna Graecia.

I would like to thank the British School at Rome for its generous support of the doctoral research project on which this book is based. I would also like to thank the supervisor of the original thesis, Mr J.J. Paterson, and also Dr T.J. Cornell, Prof. M.H. Crawford, Prof. J.G.F. Powell, Prof. B.B. Sheftopn and Dr A.J.S. Spawforth for their help and advice at various stages of preparation.

Plate 1 appears by permission of the Greek Museum, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Plates 6-12 by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum. All other maps and photographs are the author's own.

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