The dark side of the Empire: Roman expansionism between object agency and predatory regime

Manuel Fernandez-Gotz, Dominik Maschek, Nico Roymans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This debate piece offers a critique of some recent ‘new materialist’ approaches and their application to Roman expansionism, particularly those positing that the study of Romanisation should be about ‘understanding objects in motion’—a perspective that carries important political and ethical implications. Here, the authors introduce the alternative notion of a ‘predatory’ political economy for conceptualising Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome. The aim is to illuminate the darker sides of Roman expansionism in order to produce more balanced and inclusive accounts. Two cases studies—the archaeology of the Roman conquest and of rural communities—illustrate the potential of such a perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1630 - 1639
JournalAntiquity
Volume94
Issue number378
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Roman imperialism
  • object agency
  • predatory regime
  • decolonising archaeology

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