Tag Archives: peripheries

AnthroJournal – Romanization


I enjoyed reading this analysis of the variety of types of Roman imperial structure that affected non-central regions and changed their lifestyles. It is a clear introduction to some of the main processes of “Romanisation” even if it perhaps left the idea of the complexity of interactions and variety of responses in different regions for later exploration.

As a non-archaeologist I am particularly fascinated by the intersection of the material evidence and our literary perceptions and as a non-pure historian I like to look at why ‘facts’ can be misleading.
Having been working on popular concepts of Roman Britain, the debate surrounding the meaning of Romanisation and the reciprocity of impact is one that has a great deal of relevance to fictional presentations of people’s experience of conquest. In fact I think that literature and TV have been encouraging their audiences to look at the relationship between centre and periphery and individual experiences of cultural change for a long time and began to suggest that there was a great deal of potential for interplay a long time ago.
In particular I have noticed that a key source of tension in historical novels of Roman Britain is the level to which Roman customs could/should be adopted by locals and what benefits of economic/legal ties with the centre bring. Writers have clearly picked up on a tricky question for historians and archaeologists and in doing so they suggest ways to approach the effects of Romanisation on communities…