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Look Inside Rome's Cultural Revolution

Rome's Cultural Revolution


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  • Date Published: November 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521721608

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About the Authors
  • The period of Rome's imperial expansion, the late Republic and early Empire, saw transformations of its society, culture and identity. Drawing equally on archaeological and literary evidence, this book offers an original and provocative interpretation of these changes. Moving from recent debates about colonialism and cultural identity, both in the Roman world and more broadly, and challenging the traditional picture of 'Romanization' and 'Hellenization', it offers instead a model of overlapping cultural identities in dialogue with one another. It attributes a central role to cultural change in the process of redefinition of Roman identity, represented politically by the crisis of the Republican system and the establishment of the new Augustan order. Whether or not it is right to see these changes as 'revolutionary', they involve a profound transformation of Roman life and identity, one that lies at the heart of understanding the nature of the Roman Empire.

    • A major scholar offers an original and bold new interpretation of the transformation of late Republican Rome and the origins of the Augustan Empire
    • Makes use of comparative materials from other fields of cultural studies
    • Richly illustrated, to aid understanding of the discussion of archaeological sites and artefacts
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    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A brilliant analysis of cultural change, by a historian with an unrivalled mastery of both the literary and the archaeological evidence.' Peter Wiseman, University of Exeter

    'Rome's Cultural Revolution uses the author's deep knowledge of Italy and his involvement with excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum to bring together the material evidence for changes in taste and lifestyle with the literary evidence. The result is a brilliant new analysis of the cultural and social history, not only of later Republican Rome, but of its wider Italian setting.' Fergus Millar, University of Oxford

    'This is a profound and challenging new look at a decisive period (ca.200 BC to AD 200) in Roman history, the product of years of close study and analysis.' Contemporary Review

    'Wallace-Hadrill does not waste words. His writing is at all times persuasive and readable.' David J. Newsome, Rosetta

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521721608
    • length: 546 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 175 x 25 mm
    • weight: 1.1kg
    • contains: 112 b/w illus. 40 colour illus. 15 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Cultures and Identities:
    1. Culture, power and identity
    2. Dress, language and identity
    Part II. Building Identities:
    3. Roman Italy: between Roman, Greek and local
    4. Vitruvius: building Roman identity
    Part III. Knowledge and Power:
    5. Knowing the ancestors
    6. Knowing the city
    Part IV. The Consumer Revolution:
    7. Luxury and the consumer revolution
    8. Waves of fashion
    Epilogue: a cultural revolution?

  • Author

    Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, British School at Rome
    Andrew Wallace-Hadrill is Professor of Classics at the University of Reading and has been Director of the British School at Rome since 1995. His previous books are Suetonius: The Scholar and his Caesars (1983), Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum (1994) and Domestic Space in the Roman World (co-edited with Ray Laurence, 1997). He is currently directing a major project on a Pompeian neighbourhood with Michael Fulford and, since 2001, has directed the Herculaneum Conservation Project. He frequently contributes to radio and television programmes on various aspects of Roman life and in 2004 was awarded an OBE for services to Anglo-Italian cultural relations.


    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

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