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This unique book provides the student of Roman history with an accessible and detailed introduction to Roman and provincial coinage in the late Republic and early Empire in the context of current historical themes and debates. Almost two hundred different coins are illustrated at double life size, with each described in detail, and technical Latin and numismatic terms are explained. Chapters are arranged chronologically, allowing students to quickly identify material relevant to Julius Caesar, the second triumvirate, the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra, and the Principate of Augustus. Iconography, archaeological contexts, and the economy are clearly presented. A diverse array of material is brought together in a single volume to challenge and enhance our understanding of the transition from Republic to Empire.
In this book, an international team of experts draws upon a rich range of Latin and Greek texts to explore the roles played by individuals at ports in activities and institutions that were central to the maritime commerce of the Roman Mediterranean. In particular, they focus upon some of the interpretative issues that arise in dealing with this kind of epigraphic evidence, the archaeological contexts of the texts, social institutions and social groups in ports, legal issues relating to harbours, case studies relating to specific ports, and mercantile connections and shippers. While much attention is inevitably focused upon the richer epigraphic collections of Ostia and Ephesos, the papers draw upon inscriptions from a very wide range of ports across the Mediterranean. The volume will be invaluable for all scholars and students of Roman history.
This book examines the development of ancient Greek civilization through a path-breaking application of social scientific theories. David B. Small charts the rise of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and the unique characteristics of the later classical Greeks through the lens of ancient social structure and complexity theory, opening up new ideas and perspectives on these societies. He argues that Minoan and Mycenaean institutions evolved from elaborate feasting, and that the genesis of Greek colonization was born from structural chaos in the eighth century. Small isolates distinctions between Iron Age Crete and the rest of the Greek world, focusing on important differences in social structure. His book differs from others on Ancient Greece, highlighting the perpetuation of classical Greek social structure into the middle years of the Roman Empire, and concluding with a comparison of the social structure of classical Greece to that of the classical Maya civilization.
Who were the ancient Phoenicians, and did they actually exist? The Phoenicians traveled the Mediterranean long before the Greeks and Romans, trading, establishing settlements, and refining the art of navigation. But who these legendary sailors really were has long remained a mystery. In Search of the Phoenicians makes the startling claim that the "Phoenicians" never actually existed. Taking readers from the ancient world to today, this monumental book argues that the notion of these sailors as a coherent people with a shared identity, history, and culture is a product of modern nationalist ideologies--and a notion very much at odds with the ancient sources. Josephine Quinn shows how the belief in this historical mirage has blinded us to the compelling identities and communities these people really constructed for themselves in the ancient Mediterranean, based not on ethnicity or nationhood but on cities, family, colonial ties, and religious practices. She traces how the idea of "being Phoenician" first emerged in support of the imperial ambitions of Carthage and then Rome, and only crystallized as a component of modern national identities in contexts as far-flung as Ireland and Lebanon. In Search of the Phoenicians delves into the ancient literary, epigraphic, numismatic, and artistic evidence for the construction of identities by and for the Phoenicians, ranging from the Levant to the Atlantic, and from the Bronze Age to late antiquity and beyond. A momentous scholarly achievement, this book also explores the prose, poetry, plays, painting, and polemic that have enshrined these fabled seafarers in nationalist histories from sixteenth-century England to twenty-first century Tunisia.
What buried secret lies beneath the stones of one of England's greatest former churches and shrines, the Benedictine Abbey of Bury St Edmunds? The search for the final resting place of King Edmund has led to this site, beneath which Francis Young argues the lost king's remains are waiting to be found. Edmund: In Search of England's Lost King explores the history of the martyred monarch of East Anglia and England's first patron saint, showing how he became a pivotal figure around whom Saxons, Danes and Normans all rallied. Young also examines Edmund's legacy in the centuries since his death at the hands of marauding Vikings in the 9th century. In doing so, this fascinating book points to the imminent rediscovery of the ruler who created England.
The dramatic story of Richard III, England's last medieval king, captured the world's attention when an archaeological team led by the University of Leicester identified his remains in February 2013. The Bones of a King presents the official behind-the-scenes story of the Grey Friars dig from the team of specialists who discovered and identified his remains * The most extensive and authoritative book written for non-specialists by the expert team who discovered and analysed the remains of Richard III * Features more than 40 illustrations, maps and photographs * Builds an expansive view of Richard's life, death and burial, as well as accounts of the treatment of his body prior to burial, and his legacy in the public imagination from the time of his death to the present * Explains the scientific evidence behind his identification, including DNA retrieval and sequencing, soil samples, his wounds and his scoliosis, and what they reveal about his life, his health and even the food he ate * A behind-the-scenes look at one of the most exciting historical discoveries of our time
The languages of the ancient world and the mysterious scripts, long undeciphered, in which they were encoded have represented one of the most intriguing problems of classical archaeology in modern times. This celebrated account of the decipherment of Linear B in the 1950s by Michael Ventris was written by his close collaborator in the momentous discovery. In revealing the secrets of Linear B it offers a valuable survey of late Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology, uncovering fascinating details of the religion and economic history of an ancient civilisation.
The Middle Ages are all around us in Britain. The Tower of London and the castles of Scotland and Wales are mainstays of cultural tourism and an inspiring cross-section of later medieval finds can now be seen on display in museums across England, Scotland, and Wales. Medieval institutions from Parliament and monarchy to universities are familiar to us and we come into contact with the later Middle Ages every day when we drive through a village or town, look up at the castle on the hill, visit a local church or wonder about the earthworks in the fields we see from the window of a train. The Oxford Handbook of Later Medieval Archaeology in Britain provides an overview of the archaeology of the later Middle Ages in Britain between AD 1066 and 1550. 61 entries, divided into 10 thematic sections, cover topics ranging from later medieval objects, human remains, archaeological science, standing buildings, and sites such as castles and monasteries, to the well-preserved relict landscapes which still survive. This is a rich and exciting period of the past and most of what we have learnt about the material culture of our medieval past has been discovered in the past two generations. This volume provides comprehensive coverage of the latest research and describes the major projects and concepts that are changing our understanding of our medieval heritage.
Homer's mythological tales of war and homecoming,the Iliad and the Odyssey, are widely considered to be two of the most influential works in the history of western literature. Yet their author, 'the greatest poet that ever lived' is something of a mystery. By the 6th century BCE, Homer had already become a mythical figure, and today debate continues as to whether he ever existed. In this Very Short Introduction Barbara Graziosi considers Homer's famous works, and their impact on readers throughout the centuries. She shows how the Iliad and the Odyssey benefit from a tradition of reading that spans well over two millennia, stemming from ancient scholars at the library of Alexandria, in the third and second centuries BCE, who wrote some of the first commentaries on the Homeric epics. Summaries of these scholars' notes made their way into the margins of Byzantine manuscripts; from Byzantium the annotated manuscripts travelled to Italy; and the ancient notes finally appeared in the first printed editions of Homer, eventually influencing our interpretation of Homer's work today. Along the way, Homer's works have inspired artists, writers, philosophers, musicians, playwrights, and film-makers. Exploring the main literary, historical, cultural, and archaeological issues at the heart of Homer's narratives, Graziosi analyses the enduring appeal of Homer and his iconic works. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. This book was previously published in hardback as Homer.
In this magisterial two-volume book, Pier Luigi Tucci offers a comprehensive examination of one of the key complexes of Ancient Rome, the Temple of Peace. Based on archival research and an architectural survey, his research sheds new light on the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque transformations of the basilica, and the later restorations of the complex. Volume 1 focuses on the foundation of the complex under Vespasian until its restoration under Septimius Severus and challenges the accepted views about the ancient building. Volume 2 begins with the remodelling of the library hall and the construction of the rotunda complex, and examines the dedication of the Christian Basilica of SS Cosmas and Damian. Of interest to scholars in a range of topics, The Temple of Peace in Rome crosses the boundaries between classics, archaeology, history of architecture, and art history, through Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period.
Associations in the Greco-Roman World provides students and scholars with a clear and readable resource for greater understanding of the social, cultural, and religious life across the ancient Mediterranean. The authors provide new translations of inscriptions and papyri from hundreds of associations, alongside descriptions of more than two dozen archaeological remains of building sites. Complemented by a substantial annotated bibliography and accompanying images, this sourcebook fills many gaps and allows for future exploration in studies of the Greco-Roman religious world, particularly the nature of Judean and Christian groups at that time.
In this book, Philip Kiernan explores how cult images functioned in Roman temples from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity in the Roman west. He demonstrates how and why a temple's idols, were more important to ritual than other images such as votive offerings and decorative sculpture. These idols were seen by many to be divine and possessed of agency. They were, thus, the primary focus of worship. Aided by cross-cultural comparative material, Kiernan's study brings a biographical approach to explore the 'lives' of idols and cult images - how they were created, housed in temples, used and worshipped, and eventually destroyed or buried. He also shows how the status of cult images could change, how new idols and other cult images were being continuously created, and how, in each phase of their lives, we find evidence for the significant power of idols.
Old St Peter's Basilica in Rome stood for over eleven centuries until it was demolished to make room for today's church on the same Vatican site. Its last eyewitness, Maffeo Vegio, explained to the Roman hierarchy how revival of the papacy, whose prestige after the exile to Avignon had been diminished, was inseparable from a renewed awareness of the primacy of Peter's Church. To make his case, Vegio wrote a history founded on credible written and visual evidence. The text guides us through the building's true story in its material reality, undistorted by medieval guides. This was its living memory and a visualization of the continuity of Roman history into modern times. This volume makes available the first complete English translation of Vegio's text. Accompanied by full-color digital reconstructions of the Basilica as it appeared in Vegio's day.
Celebrated for its abundant illustrations and accessible voice, Art & Archaeology of the Greek World arrives in its second edition with more coverage of the earliest Bronze Age and latest Hellenistic periods, and increased archaeological context; the picture of ancient Greek art is expanded to help readers better understand how the subject connects to, and reflects, the historical developments of the time. Richard Neer's clear chronological narrative takes readers through the artistic developments in Greek culture from the Minoans to the Roman conquest. We learn about how art was made and used, and how it can offer a window into the changing social and cultural world of ancient Greece. Still the most visually led book on the subject, the text is supported with highquality photographs, reconstructions, maps and plans that help build a vibrant picture of the ancient world. Each chapter begins with a chronology and map, situating the reader in time and place as we follow the development of an ancient visual culture that still influences us today.
Migration, Mobility and Place in Ancient Italy challenges prevailing conceptions of a natural tie to the land and a demographically settled world. It argues that much human mobility in the last millennium BC was ongoing and cyclical. In particular, outside the military context 'the foreigner in our midst' was not regarded as a problem. Boundaries of status rather than of geopolitics were those difficult to cross. The book discusses the stories of individuals and migrant groups, traders, refugees, expulsions, the founding and demolition of sites, and the political processes that could both encourage and discourage the transfer of people from one place to another. In so doing it highlights moments of change in the concepts of mobility and the definitions of those on the move. By providing the long view from history, it exposes how fleeting are the conventions that take shape here and now.
The history of funerary customs in Rome contains many unanswered questions and controversial debates, especially concerning the significant developments of the second century CE. In this book, distinguished historian Barbara E. Borg employs the full range of material and written evidence to explore four key questions that change our view of Roman society and its values. For the first time, senatorial burial practices can be reconstructed and contrasted with those of other classes. Borg then explains the change from incineration to inhumation as a revival of old Roman mores that accelerated after the example set by Hadrian. In the third chapter, she argues that tombs became prime locations for promoting and displaying long family lines among the elite, which then inspired freedmen to undertake similar commemorative practices. Finally she explores the association of deceased persons with the divine and apotheosis through portraits on divine body shapes and temple tombs.
Greek Art and Aesthetics in the Fourth Century B.C. analyzes the broad character of art produced during this period, providing in-depth analysis of and commentary on many of its most notable examples of sculpture and painting. Taking into consideration developments in style and subject matter, and elucidating political, religious, and intellectual context, William A. P. Childs argues that Greek art in this era was a natural outgrowth of the high classical period and focused on developing the rudiments of individual expression that became the hallmark of the classical in the fifth century. As Childs shows, in many respects the art of this period corresponds with the philosophical inquiry by Plato and his contemporaries into the nature of art and speaks to the contemporaneous sense of insecurity and renewed religious devotion. Delving into formal and iconographic developments in sculpture and painting, Childs examines how the sensitive, expressive quality of these works seamlessly links the classical and Hellenistic periods, with no appreciable rupture in the continuous exploration of the human condition. Another overarching theme concerns the nature of "style as a concept of expression," an issue that becomes more important given the increasingly multiple styles and functions of fourth-century Greek art. Childs also shows how the color and form of works suggested the unseen and revealed the profound character of individuals and the physical world.
Perceptions of the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England represents an unparalleled exploration of the place of prehistoric monuments in the Anglo-Saxon psyche, and examines how Anglo-Saxon communities perceived and used these monuments during the period AD 400-1100. Sarah Semple employs archaeological, historical, art historical, and literary sources to study the variety of ways in which the early medieval population of England used the prehistoric legacy in the landscape, exploring it from temporal and geographic perspectives. Key to the arguments and ideas presented is the premise that populations used these remains, intentionally and knowingly, in the articulation and manipulation of their identities: local, regional, political, and religious. They recognized them as ancient features, as human creations from a distant past. They used them as landmarks, battle sites, and estate markers, giving them new Old English names. Before, and even during, the conversion to Christianity, communities buried their dead in and around these monuments. After the conversion, several churches were built in and on these monuments, great assemblies and meetings were held at them, and felons executed and buried within their surrounds. This volume covers the early to late Anglo-Saxon world, touching on funerary ritual, domestic and settlement evidence, ecclesiastical sites, place-names, written sources, and administrative and judicial geographies. Through a thematic and chronologically-structured examination of Anglo-Saxon uses and perceptions of the prehistoric, Semple demonstrates that populations were not only concerned with Romanitas (or Roman-ness), but that a similar curiosity and conscious reference to and use of the prehistoric existed within all strata of society.
The first and only monograph available on the subject, The Roman City and its Periphery offers a full and detailed treatment of the little-investigated aspect of Roman urbanism - the phenomenon of suburban development. Presenting archaeological and literary evidence alongside sixty-three plans of cities, building plans, and photographs, Penelope Goodman examines how and why Roman suburbs grew up outside Roman cities, what was distinctive about the nature of suburban development, and what contributions buildings and activities in the suburbs might make to the character and function of the city as a whole. With full bibliography and annotations throughout, this will not only provide a coherent treatment of an essential theme for students of Roman urbanism, but archaeologists, urban planners and geographers also, will have an excellent comparative tool in the study of modern urbanism.
Swords were special in Anglo-Saxon England. Their names, deeds and pedigrees were enshrined in writing. Many were curated for generations, revealed by their worn and mended condition. Few ended their lives as casual discards, placed instead in graves, hoards and watercourses as part of ritualised acts. Contemporary sources leave no doubt that complex social meanings surrounded these weapons, transcending their use on the battlefield; but they have yet to transcend the traditional view that their primary social function was as status symbols. Even now, half a century after the first major study of Anglo-Saxon swords, their wider significance within their world has yet to be fully articulated. This book sets out to meet the challenge. Eschewing modern value judgements, it focuses instead on contemporary perceptions - exploring how those who made, used and experienced swords really felt about them. It takes a multidisciplinary and holistic approach, bringing together insights from art, archaeology and literature. Comparison with Scandinavia adds further nuance, revealing what was (and was not) distinctive of Anglo-Saxon views of these weapons. Far from elite baubles, swords are revealed to have been dynamic "living" artefacts with their own identities, histories and places in social networks - ideas fuelled by their adaptability, durability and unique role in bloodshed. Sue Brunning is Curator of European Early Medieval Collections at The British Museum.
For four centuries Britain was an integral part of the Roman Empire, a political system stretching from Turkey to Portugal and from the Red Sea to the Tyne and beyond. Its involvement with Rome started long before the Conquest launched by the Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, and it continued to be a part of the Roman world for some time after the final break with Roman rule. Bringing together archaeological investigation and historical scholarship, Peter Salway explores some of the key issues arising from this period in Britain's history, discussing the question of identity at this time and analysing the importance of widespread literacy in Roman Britain. Covering the period from Julius Caesar's first forays into Britain and Claudius' subsequent conquest, as well as Britain under the later Roman Empire, Salway outlines the key events of this time period, providing a focus on society in Roman Britain, and offering a thoughtful consideration of the aftermath of Roman rule. In the new edition of this Very Short Introduction, Peter Salway makes a number of essential updates in light of recent research in the area. He looks at issues of ethnicity, 'Britishness', and post-colonialism, provides alternative theories to the end of the Roman period in Britain, and draws parallels between the history of Roman Britain and a wide range of other periods, territories, and themes, including the modern experience of empires and national stereotypes. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Northern Black Sea region, despite its distance from the centers of classical civilizations, played an integral role in the socioeconomic life of the ancient Greco-Roman world. The chapters in this book, written by experts on the region, explore topics such as the trade, religion, political culture, art and architecture, and the local non-Greek populations, from the foundation of the first Greek colonies on the North Pontic shores at the end of the seventh and sixth century BCE through the first centuries of the Roman imperial period. This volume closely examines relevant categories of archaeological material, including amphorae, architectural remains, funerary and dedicatory monuments, inscriptions, and burial complexes. Geographically, it encompasses the coastal territories of modern Russia and Ukraine. The Northern Black Sea in Antiquity embraces an inclusive and comparative approach while discussing new archaeological evidence, offering fresh insights into familiar questions, and presenting original interpretations of well-known artifacts.
Between the Sack of Rome by the Gauls in 390 BC and the middle of the second century BC, a part-time army of Roman peasants, under the leadership of the ruling oligarchy, conquered first Italy and then the whole of the Mediterranean. The loyalty of these marrauding heroes, and of the Roman population as a whole, to their leaders was assured by a share in the rewards of victory, rewards which became steadily less accessible as the empire expanded - promoting a decline in loyalty of cataclysmic proportions. Wars, rural impoverishments, civil discord and slavery are a few of the subjects covered in this study.
A new account of the famous site and story of the last stand of a group of Jewish rebels who held out against the Roman Empire Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children-the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple-reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. The first extensive archaeological excavations of Masada began in the 1960s, and today the site draws visitors from around the world. And yet, because the mass suicide was recorded by only one ancient author-the Jewish historian Josephus-some scholars question if the event ever took place. Jodi Magness, an archaeologist who has excavated at Masada, explains what happened there, how we know it, and how recent developments might change understandings of the story. Incorporating the latest findings, she integrates literary and historical sources to show what life was like for Jews under Roman rule during an era that witnessed the reign of Herod and Jesus's ministry and death. Featuring numerous illustrations, this is an engaging exploration of an ancient story that continues to grip the imagination today.
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