Written by an expert team of scholars this first volume examines war and resistance, different engines of economic performance and social and geographical mobility in the Mediterranean, slavery and social control, lived experience and the imperial discourses of race and identity, and the geographical and ecological settings in which the cultural histories of the Roman world played out. Together these chapters offer a bold new account of the Roman empire, juxtaposing key topics that are not always considered together under the rubric of “culture.”
A Cultural History of Western Empires examines the cultural history of ancient Mediterranean empires, and focuses on the Roman empire; the prototypical empire in western history and imagination. A wide-ranging introduction examines the nexus of state-formation and culture in the ancient Mediterranean world, from the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia to the fall of the Roman empire in late antiquity.
Richly-illustrated with images of monuments, statues, sculptures, mosaics, paintings, coins, and other colorful artefacts of ancient material culture, this volume reveals how the deep structures of imperial power and authority shaped everything from the labour and movements of the Roman empire’s mostly anonymous subjects to their sexualities and consciousness.