Past Event

A Roman World?: Imperial Power and Provincial Communities

April 28, 2023
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
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The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, Columbia University, 5th floor conference room; in-person and on Zoom

Click Registration to receive a Zoom link to attend the conference remotely.

The phrase “the Roman world” has long served as a useful shorthand to describe Rome’s vast sphere of influence. Yet it homogenizes: the peoples who inhabited the Roman Empire were tremendously diverse; until 212 CE most were not, legally speaking, Roman citizens. Moreover, they exerted great agency in their responses to and relationships with Roman power and, in so doing, profoundly shaped the empire’s social, political, cultural, and economic expressions. 

“A Roman World?: Imperial Power and Provincial Communities” shares new research that explores these dynamics from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Emphasizing a diversity of actors, regions, and media, this workshop-conference addresses topics that include the creation of new Italian identities in the Republican province of Africa; the relationships between industrial activity in Carthago Nova and the natural environment; and the use of portrait sculpture by religious communities in imperial Thessaloniki as a means by which locals redefined themselves in relation to Rome. “A Roman World?” rejects the traditional dichotomy of colonizer and colonized and instead interrogates the politics of writing and rewriting the Roman past. Ultimately, it presents a new history of a world that was, in important ways, not Roman at all.



9:30-9:45AM Welcome address by Sailakshmi Ramgopal (Columbia University)

9:45-10:45AM Opening keynote: Alicia Jiménez (Duke University) “The Parlance of Things: Female Honorific Statues in Rome and the Provinces”

10:45-11:45AM Lindsey Mazurek (University of Indiana – Bloomington) “What Do Portraits Want? Statues and Religious Agency in Roman Thessaloniki”

11:45-12:45PM Linda Gosner (Texas Tech) “Craft and Industry in Carthago Nova: A Local History of Ecology, Economy, and Empire in Roman Iberia”

12:45-1:15PM Discussion led by Alicia Jiménez

1:15-2:20PM Lunch break

2:30-3:30PM Lisa Eberle (Universität Tübingen – remote) “The Sons of Dardanos in Etruscan: Property and Community in the Republican Province of Africa”

3:30-4:30PM Sailakshmi Ramgopal (Columbia University) “Civis Romanus Sum: Citizenship, Power, and Provincial Administration”

4:30-5:30PM Closing keynote: Katherine Blouin (University of Toronto - Scarborough) “Whose Roman World? On Roman Egypt and Modernity”

5:30-6PM Discussion led by Katherine Blouin