When is Rome? : developments in Roman civic identity during the Archaic Period (c.650 - c.350 BC)
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This study investigates the origins and growth of civic identity at Rome during the city’s initial phases in the mid-seventh to the mid-fourth century BC. Although the development of Roman identity in the face of Rome’s wider Mediterranean expansion in the third and second centuries has received much scholarly attention, the early stages of the development – the foundations of this identity - have been largely neglected. From the mid-seventh to the early-fifth century, the community at Rome seems to have gained an increasingly centralised focus. Discrete hilltop hut settlements give way to a more unified community centred around a newly created neutral area – the Forum Romanum. This new centralised focus may be indicative of the development of some form of communal identity at the site. The key to understanding this communal identity may lie in the complex social structure of archaic society in and around the site and the articulation of the community through foreign policy during this period. Although Comitia played a significant role in the development of the community, the evidence seems to indicate the central importance of one institution to its conceptualisation – the rex. The evidence for this centralised focus, however, disappears early in the fifth century. Documentary evidence from the Twelve Tables does not provide any evidence for a strong conceptualisation of community. Furthermore, despite its unreliability, the literary evidence seems to suggest that throughout the fifth and fourth centuries, the community at Rome underwent a series of significant changes geared around the renegotiation of the connection between individuals and the community in the aftermath of the overthrow of the monarchy. This period of reconstruction of community laid the groundwork for the expansion of Rome throughout Italy and onto the wider Mediterranean political scene.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2024-05-24
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 24th May 2024
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