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Imperialism, Power, and Identity:
Experiencing the Roman Empire
David J. Mattingly
With a new preface by the author

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"The title of Mattingly's book is no false advertising. His treatment of what empire and imperialism are; how power permeated all relationships and transactions--personal social, political, sexual and economic--throughout the Empire; in what ways the inexhaustible appetite for resources in Roman imperial times wasted human lives and did lasting damage to natural landscapes; and how individuals and groups conceived of their identities under Roman imperial rule, all make us experience what it was like to be part of its power system."--Tom Palaima, Times Higher Education Supplement

"For a serious academic treatment--this is no light read--his conclusions can be surprisingly uncomfortable, especially for those who prefer to see the artistic fruits of Roman civilization without the human suffering that accompanied them. This latest volume is essential for anyone wishing to keep up with the debate."--Current Archaelogy

"Mattingly presents a personal reflection on Roman imperialism in which he rejects the essentially static concept of Romanization in favor of a more dynamic model."--Choice

"Mattingly's presentation of many cogent and well-supported arguments . . . should be considered by all serious scholars of the Roman Empire."--Adam Kemezis, Journal of the Classical Association of Canada

"The text is very well structured, with ample definitions, introductions, subtitling and conclusions reiterating the main points. Mattingly is a good writer and his prose makes good reading, regardless of whether or not one is willing fully to share his new readings of the issues involved. The scholarship of this book is admirable and the points well argued. Mattingly may not be such a lonely front line soldier defending a new paradigm as he sometimes implies, but there is no denying that he is a central figure in the discussion that more and more pervades archaeological studies dealing with the understanding of the implications of Roman imperialism. . . . This book is a passionate, thought-provoking and necessary statement in this debate."--Pirjo Hamari, ARCTOS

"Mattingly is one of the leading archaeologists of the Roman provinces, both in the quality of his fieldwork and his interpretive thinking. This book demonstrates why that position is fully deserved."--Louise Revell, Journal of Roman Studies


"Mattingly critically examines accepted ideas about the Roman Empire and evaluates them on the basis of recent archaeological analyses. He provides excellent, up-to-date discussions of such issues as Roman imperialism, colonialism, and the expression of identity through material culture. This book will be important in providing a set of new ideas about many current themes regarding the Roman world."--Peter S. Wells, author of The Barbarians Speak: How the Conquered Peoples Shaped Roman Europe

"This is an important book by a major scholar. David Mattingly is among the most prolific and skilled archaeologists of his generation, and very rare in the ability to produce wide-ranging works of synthesis that do not steer clear of controversy. The arguments that this book will spark are arguments that are worth having."--David S. Potter, author of The Roman Empire at Bay

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File created: 9/19/2017

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