Community and Society in Roman Italy
Stephen L. Dyson examines rural communities as functioning, largely autonomous societies. Dyson traces the major outlines of community development from the end of the war with Hannibal to the early Middle Ages. He shows how local communities responded to changes in the greater Roman society while still retaining their distinctive identity. He examines the "typical" Roman community during the High Empire and explores the life cycle of rural inhabitants, showing how individuals- the aristocrats, the free poor, and the slaves- developed in relation to society as a whole.
About the Author
Stephen L. Dyson is Park Professor of Classics at the University at Buffalo and past president of the Archaeological Institute of America. He has done extensive archaeological fieldwork in Italy and has published on the Roman frontier, Roman community, and the history of classical archaeology.
Resourceful and imaginative, [Dyson] looks into the humdrum, sometimes quietly desperate lives of Italy's small towns and urban centers and brings them sharply to life.
A valuable example of how archaeological data can be used alongside conventional sources to produce compelling social and economic history.
This work sets forth a challenging new model for understanding the communities of Roman Italy, their internal dynamics, and their relationships with their surrounding rural territories. Extensive notes, a substantial and up-to-date bibliography, and an adequate index complete this pivotal work. Essential for the study of ancient social conditions or private life.
An important addition to the literature on classical Rome... Highly recommended.
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