Roman Urbanism: Beyond the Consumer City

Roman Urbanism: Beyond the Consumer City

Roman Urbanism: Beyond the Consumer City

Roman Urbanism: Beyond the Consumer City

Synopsis

The contributors to this volume provide an accessible and jargon-free insight into the notion of the Roman city; what shaped it, and how it both structured and reflected Roman society. Roman Urbanism challenges the established economic model for the Roman city and instead offers original and diverse approaches for examining Roman urbanization, bringing the Roman city into the nineties. Roman Urbanism is a lively and informative volume, particularly valuable in an age dominated by urban development.

Excerpt

The chapters in this volume are the result of a symposium entitled 'Beyond the Consumer City', held at the University of Leicester in 1993. The original symposium arose from a concern to round up new work, most of it being carried out at doctoral or early post-doctoral level, on new approaches to the Roman city. This coincided with and was partly inspired by ongoing work and publications on the subject. Foremost among these was City and Country in the Ancient World (Rich and Wallace-Hadrill eds 1991), in which many of the contributors addressed, both implicitly and explicitly, issues raised by Weber's consumer city model. A conference held in London in 1991, now published as Urban Society in Roman Italy (Cornell and Lomas eds 1995), took up similar themes. Individual research, too, contributed to bringing the consumer city to the forefront of ancient historians' minds once again, chief among which were combative monographs by Jongman (1988) and Engels (1990) on the consumer and service city respectively. These were offset by more general surveys of the consumer city model (Whittaker 1990; Harris 1993) that reiterated anxieties about and dissatisfaction with its validity. There was, in addition, an already substantial bibliography on the consumer city and the Roman city; in sum, this combination of influences made another conference imperative, but this time one that was concerned expressly to move beyond the consumer city, and also to explore other ways of looking at the Roman urban centre that are largely, or wholly, independent of Weber's model.

The present volume comprises substantially revised versions of most of the papers from the conference, together with two others: one by Penelope Allison, who was then working on related issues,

The bibliography on the consumer city and Roman city is far too extensive to list here. See, for example, Whittaker 1990 and 1995 for a selection of the more recent and pertinent bibliographical references.

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