University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group > Interdisciplinarity Rules! A radical re-appraisal of the countryside of Roman Italy (200 BC - AD 100)

Interdisciplinarity Rules! A radical re-appraisal of the countryside of Roman Italy (200 BC - AD 100)

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Hilary Powell.

This short talk will aim at showing the critical importance of integrating different sets of sources as this – rather often – leads to a radical re-assessment of long-held views on central issues. One such case pertains to that crucial period which witnessed the decline of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Empire. The traditional narrative – primarily based on textual evidence – has fascinated generations of scholars and students (including me!) as Rome’s victory over her arch-enemy Carthage was held to have triggered a chain of dire events which eventually led to the fall of the Republic itself – as it gradually transformed into an absolute monarchy. Critical to such a process was a social crisis taking place within the countryside of Roman Italy, eventually leading to a dramatic decline of the rural free population. Recent scholarship in history, however, has increasingly call into question such a reconstruction and it is precisely here that the integration of material evidence from landscape archaeology has proved critical. By suggesting – and supporting – alternative readings of documentary evidence it has helped in radically reshaping our modern understanding of such a troubled period in early Italian and European history.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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