Mattingly 2011 Imperialism

Title Information

Author: David J. Mattingly

Title: Imperialism, Power, and Identity

Subtitle: Experiencing the Roman Empire

Place: Princeton

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Year: 2011

Pages: 368pp.

Series: Miriam S. Balmuth Lectures in Ancient History and Archaeology

ISBN-13: 9780691146058 (cloth) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Ancient Rome

Full Text

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Link: Princeton University Press (Limited Preview)

Additional Information

Author: David Mattingly, School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of LeicesterWikipedia


  List of Illustrations (p. ix)
  List of Tables (p. xiii)
  Foreword by R. Bruce Hitchner (p. xv)
  Preface: My Roman Empire (p. xvii)
  Part One Imperialisms and Colonialisms
  1. From Imperium to Imperialism: Writing the Roman Empire (p. 3)
  2. From One Colonialism to Another: Imperialism and the Maghreb (p. 43)
  Part Two Power
  3. Regime Change, Resistance, and Reconstruction: Imperialism Ancient and Modern (p. 75)
  4. Power, Sex, and Empire (p. 94)
  Part Three Resources
  5. Ruling Regions, Exploiting Resources (p. 125)
  6. Landscapes of Imperialism. Africa: A Landscape of Opportunity? (p. 146)
  7. Metals and Metalla: A Roman Copper-Mining Landscape in the Wadi Faynan, Jordan (p. 167)
  Part Four Identity
  8. Identity and Discrepancy (p. 203)
  9. Family Values: Art and Power at Ghirza in the Libyan Pre-desert (p. 246)
  Afterword: Empire Experienced (p. 269)
  References (p. 277)
  Index (p. 325)


Despite what history has taught us about imperialism's destructive effects on colonial societies, many classicists continue to emphasize disproportionately the civilizing and assimilative nature of the Roman Empire and to hold a generally favorable view of Rome's impact on its subject peoples. Imperialism, Power, and Identity boldly challenges this view using insights from postcolonial studies of modern empires to offer a more nuanced understanding of Roman imperialism.
Rejecting outdated notions about Romanization, David Mattingly focuses instead on the concept of identity to reveal a Roman society made up of far-flung populations whose experience of empire varied enormously. He examines the nature of power in Rome and the means by which the Roman state exploited the natural, mercantile, and human resources within its frontiers. Mattingly draws on his own archaeological work in Britain, Jordan, and North Africa and covers a broad range of topics, including sexual relations and violence; census-taking and taxation; mining and pollution; land and labor; and art and iconography. He shows how the lives of those under Rome's dominion were challenged, enhanced, or destroyed by the empire's power, and in doing so he redefines the meaning and significance of Rome in today's debates about globalization, power, and empire.
Imperialism, Power, and Identity advances a new agenda for classical studies, one that views Roman rule from the perspective of the ruled and not just the rulers.« (Source: Princeton University Press)

Editions: Mattingly, David J. Imperialism, Power, and Identity: Experiencing the Roman Empire. Princeton 2013.


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Kemezis, Adam. Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada 9(2) (2009), LIII-Series III: 194-199. – Full Text: Project MUSE (Restricted Access)

Méthy, Nicole. Bryn Mawr Classical Review (May 26, 2011). – Full Text: Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Free Access)

Revell, Louise. The Journal of Roman Studies 104 (November 2014): 278-279. – Full Text: Cambridge Journals Online (Restricted Access)

Witcher, Robert. The Classical Review 62(1) (April 2012): 249-251. – Full Text: Cambridge Journals Online (Restricted Access)

Added: November 29, 2014 – Last updated: November 29, 2014