The adjective 'Roman' and noun 'Romans' are ubiquitous in modern scholarship, not least due to the proliferation of references to ‘being or becoming Roman'. There has, however, been a surprising lack of critical reflection on what the category ‘Roman’ meant within its ancient context or on how modern applications of the category ‘Roman’ might diverge from ancient ones. It is not obvious that identities or processes of being/becoming that are labelled by modern historians as ‘Roman’ would have been described as such by contemporaries.
This workshop will bring together historians and classicists working on evidence dating from the archaic period to the early Middle Ages. Our aim is to investigate the ancient vocabulary of being ‘Roman’ and the ways that it evolved across time. We argue that a proper understanding of these semantics has the potential to shed new light on the components and boundaries of ‘Roman’ as a category/identity and on the nature of the Roman empire as a political formation.
Key questions include: What are the key horizons/events in the history of the category ‘Roman’? What does an analysis of ancient vocabulary reveal about the relative importance of citizenship, ethnicity, language etc. in conceptions of ‘Roman’ as a category? What different political and/or cultural projects was the category ‘Roman’ made to serve?
The workshop is intended as an opportunity for conversation across different periods and disciplines. Papers will be relatively short with plenty of time scheduled for discussion. The event is convened by Olivia Elder (University of Cambridge; BSR) and Myles Lavan (University of St Andrews).
A provisonal programme can be seen by clicking on the relevant tab. The workshop is free to attend, but places are limited. To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event is generously supported by the Isaac Newton Trust, the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), and the British School at Rome.
|Monday 16 September 1.30-2.00 2.00-2.15||
Welcome and Introduction
Olivia Elder (Cambridge)
Myles Lavan (St Andrews)
James Crooks (St Andrews)
Giuseppe Pezzini (St Andrews)
Rebecca Flemming (Cambridge)
|Tuesday 17 September 9.00-9.45||
Alex Mullen (Nottingham)
John Weisweiler (Cambridge)
Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge)