Globalisation and the Roman world

World history, connectivity and material culture, edited by Martin Pitts and Miguel John Versluys. From Cambridge University Press

This book explores a new perspective for understanding the Roman world, using connectivity as a major point of departure. Globalisation is apparent in increased flows of objects, people and ideas and in the creation of translocal consciousness in everyday life. Based on these criteria, there is a case for globalisation in the ancient Roman world. Essential for anyone interested in Romanisation, this volume provides the first sustained critical exploration of globalisation theories in Roman archaeology and history. It is written by an international group of scholars who address a broad range of subjects, including Roman imperialism, economics, consumption, urbanism, migration, visual culture and heritage. The contributors explore the implications of understanding material culture in an interconnected Roman world, highlighting several novel directions for future research.

Globalisation is a key-concept to understand the complexities of our present-day world. There is a growing awareness amongst scholars that it might equally be a key-concept to (better) understand societies in the past. Globalisation is nothing novel, in their view, nor a phenomenon exclusively tied up with (European) expansion or modernity when the world would also become literally global. Historicizing Globalisation could therefore make us better understand how and when our planet became systematically connected and how connectivity works as a (historical) process. Globalisation and the Roman world critically investigates the Roman world from this perspective. It examines if and how Roman Studies can profit from drawing in Globalisation theory and in doing so it simultaneously historicizes Globalisation. The volume is therefore intended for a wide audience of scholars interested in World history, connectivity and material culture.

Globalisation and the Roman world. World history, connectivity and material culture is one of the results of the recently finished NWO VIDI project ‘Cultural innovation in a globalizing society. Egypt in the Roman world’ (Dr. M.J. Versluys).

A book launch and debate will take place on September 11 2015

Last Modified: 03-09-2015