Materialising the Roman Empire

Edited by Jeremy Tanner and Andrew Gardner


ISBN: 9781800084001

Publication: March 19, 2024

Materialising the Roman Empire defines an innovative research agenda for Roman archaeology, highlighting the diverse ways in which the Empire was made materially tangible in the lives of its inhabitants. The volume explores how material culture was integral to the processes of imperialism, both as the Empire grew, and as it fragmented, and in doing so provide up-to-date overviews of major topics in Roman archaeology.

Each chapter offers a critical overview of a major field within the archaeology of the Roman Empire. The book’s authors explore the distinctive contribution that archaeology and the study of material culture can make to our understanding of the key institutions and fields of activity in the Roman Empire. The initial chapters address major technologies which, at first glance, appear to be mechanisms of integration across the Roman Empire: roads, writing and coinage. The focus then shifts to analysis of key social structures oriented around material forms and activities found all over the Roman world, such as trade, urbanism, slavery, craft production and frontiers. Finally, the book extends to more abstract dimensions of the Roman world: art, empire, religion and ideology, in which the significant themes remain the dynamics of power and influence. The whole builds towards a broad exploration of the nature of imperial power and the inter-connections that stimulated new community identities and created new social divisions.

  • Jeremy Tanner is Professor of Classical and Comparative Art at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.
  • Andrew Gardner is Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

List of figures
List of tables

Jeremy Tanner

Introduction: Roman archaeology and the materiality of empire Andrew Gardner

1 Roads and communications
Ray Laurence

2 An empire of words? Archaeology and writing in the Roman world
John Pearce

3 Archaeologies of coinage
Chris Howgego

4 Trade in the Roman Empire
Andrew Wilson

5 Empire and urbanism in Ancient Rome
Louise Revell

6 ‘Becoming darkness’ and the invisible slave economy: archaeological approaches to the study of enslavement in the Roman world
Rebecca Redfern

7 The Roman Empire and transformations in craft production
Astrid Van Oyen

8 Art and Empire in the Roman World
Peter Stewart

9 Materialising imperial ideology and religion in the Roman world
Ton Derks

10 Empires and their boundaries: the Archaeology of Roman frontiers
Andrew Gardner

11 Imperial power and its limits: social and cultural integration and resistance in the Roman Empire
David J. Mattingly


Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 × 29 mm

352 Pages

100 colour photo/halftones, 100 figures, and 7 tables

Copyright: © 2023

ISBN: 9781800084001

Publication: March 19, 2024

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