New Perspectives on the Epigraphy of Roman Italy


A one-day workshop on recent developments in Italian epigraphy was held in the Seminar Room at Corpus Christi College on Saturday, 9 May.

The papers delivered at the workshop re-examined the texts of particular inscriptions, and studied individual inscriptions and groups of inscriptions in new contexts, in order to reveal some new perspectives on Roman Italy. The speakers shared the aim of setting the inscriptions of specific localities into a broader geographical, social, political, and cultural context.

Several contributors discussed the visible impact of Rome upon other parts of Italy, both town and countryside, between the fourth century B.C. and fourth century A.D. Guy Bradley, 'Epigraphy and colonisation in ancient Umbria', studied the epigraphic, literary and archaeological record of Interamna Nahars in order to revise the orthodox picture of the colonisation of Umbria, and to make some more general points about both the Latin colonisation of Italy and the magistracies of Italian communities before the Social War. Mark Pobjoy, 'Country roads and local laws: 'village' epigraphy in Roman Italy', explored the degree to which the epigraphy of rural areas of Republican Italy exhibited a much stronger Roman political presence than has previously been realised. Benet Salway, 'Some considerations on the circumstances of the album of Canusium' presented a new theory relating to the historical context for this document's production. Alison Cooley, 'Politics and religion in the ager Laurens', examined the relationship between Lavinium and Rome, in the light of a recently rediscovered inscription.

Two papers assessed the contribution of particular inscriptions to the religious and political profiles of two regions. Fay Glinister, 'The Rapino Table and the Phenomenon of Sacred Prostitution in Early Italy', questioned the validity of this inscription as evidence for sacred prostituion. Edward Bispham, 'Epigraphy, Politics, Topography and Archaeology at Puteoli: a Case Study in the Self-Representation of the Italian Elite in the Late Republic', undertook to clarify the original function and meaning of two puzzling inscriptions in their social and physical context, and suggested a new approach to cursus inscriptions. Finally, Valerie Hope, 'Fighting for identity: the commemoration of gladiators in Roman Italy', considered the funerary commemoration of the gladiators of Rome and Italy as evidence for the role and position of the gladiator within Roman society.

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Created on Sunday, 07 March, 1999: 12:14:24