Despite what history has taught us about imperialism's destructive effects on colonial societies, many classicists continue to emphasize disproportionately the civilizing and assimilative nature of the Roman Empire and to hold a generally favorable view of Rome's impact on its subject peoples. Imperialism, Power, and Identity boldly challenges this view using insights from postcolonial studies of modern empires to offer a more nuanced understanding of Roman imperialism. Rejecting outdated notions about Romanization, David Mattingly focuses instead on the concept of identity to reveal a Roman society made up of far-flung populations whose experience of empire varied enormously. He examines the nature of power in Rome and the means by which the Roman state exploited the natural, mercantile, and human resources within its frontiers. Mattingly draws on his own archaeological work in Britain, Jordan, and North Africa and covers a broad range of topics, including sexual relations and violence; census-taking and taxation; mining and pollution; land and labor; and art and iconography.
He shows how the lives of those under Rome's dominion were challenged, enhanced, or destroyed by the empire's power, and in doing so he redefines the meaning and significance of Rome in today's debates about globalization, power, and empire. Imperialism, Power, and Identity advances a new agenda for classical studies, one that views Roman rule from the perspective of the ruled and not just the rulers.
David J. Mattingly is professor of Roman archaeology at the University of Leicester and a fellow of the British Academy. His many books include "An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire", "Tripolitania," "Farming the Desert", "Archaeology and Desertification", and "The Cambridge Dictionary of Classical Civilization".
List of Illustrations ix List of Tables xiii Foreword by R. Bruce Hitchner xv Preface: My Roman Empire xvii Part One: Imperialisms and Colonialisms Chapter 1: From Imperium to Imperialism: Writing the Roman Empire 3 Chapter 2: From One Colonialism to Another: Imperialism and the Maghreb 43 Part Two: Power Chapter 3: Regime Change, Resistance, and Reconstruction: Imperialism Ancient and Modern 75 Chapter 4: Power, Sex, and Empire 94 Part Three: Resources Chapter 5: Ruling Regions, Exploiting Resources 125 Chapter 6: Landscapes of Imperialism. Africa: A Landscape of Opportunity? 146 Chapter 7: Metals and Metalla: A Roman Copper-Mining Landscape in the Wadi Faynan, Jordan 167 Part Four: Identity Chapter 8: Identity and Discrepancy 203 Chapter 9: Family Values: Art and Power at Ghirza in the Libyan Pre-desert 246 Afterword: Empire Experienced 269 References 277 Index 325