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For a new concept of Romanization: identities and cultural change in Italy during the Roman conquest (4th Century to the 1st Century BC)

Grant number: 12/50185-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2012
Effective date (End): July 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal Investigator:Marlene Suano
Grantee:Rafael Scopacasa
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research aims to contribute towards a new concept of Romanisation, by examining the impact of Roman imperialism on cultural identity in Italy between the fourth and first centuries BC. The Italian peninsula was the first to experience Roman political hegemony, and has therefore been a major reference for studies on the subsequent Romanisation of Europe. However, scholars are becoming aware of the need to form a new understanding of Romanisation in view of the complexity of cultural responses to Roman imperialism. It is now clear that Roman conquest does not mechanically lead to an adoption of 'Roman cultural identity' on the part of incorporated groups, given the various forms of cultural resistance, and the fact that the various sectors of incorporated societies were connected to Rome in different ways, and to different degrees. The very cohesiveness of the concept of 'Roman culture' has been questioned, given that it refere to a varied set of cultural practices and influences from all over the Mediterranean, and that Roman society itself underwent cultural change as it expanded. To address these issues, this study will investigate socio-cultural changes in Italy between the fourth and first centuries BC. Republican Italy was home to a diverse range of regional communities whose boundaries were partly defined by topography. Amongst these, the communities of central Apenníne Italy stand out for their key role in the process of Roman expansion, with central Apennine groups such as the Samnites being noted for their enduring resistance to Rome, and later for their valour as crucial Roman allies. It will also be necessary to broaden the geographic scope and compare the Italian material with other regions of Europe, so as to form a more global understanding. (AU)

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