Citizenship in Roman Greece : ideology, culture and identity by Jamie Nay

By Jamie Nay

This e-book explores the character of Roman identification via a learn of the cultural and ideological results of Roman citizenship on Greeks dwelling within the first 3 centuries advert. phrases akin to tradition and identification will not be static principles, yet buildings of a specific social milieu at any given cut-off date. Roman citizenship functioned as a type of ideological equipment that, whilst given to a non-Roman, puzzled that individual's local id. starting from the speculation that the ownership of Roman citizenship offers good facts individual has a minimum of a few ideological curiosity in Rome, the theoretical bases of Louis Althusser and Pierre Bourdieu are used as publications in an research of 4 resources: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Paul of Tarsus, the jurist Ulpian, and civic cash minted within the Greek east. those resources solution the query 'What is a Roman?' in numerous – and infrequently conflicting - methods, in flip displaying that smooth phrases equivalent to ‘Romanization’ gloss over the entire range inside, and plasticity of, the cultures of either the Romans and people humans whom they ‘conquered’

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A piece of writing is not a static artifact to be ‘tested’ for its historicity as an archaeologist examines a piece of pottery (Dench 1995: 219-20). No history, especially one so obviously steeped in the ideology of Rome as the Roman Antiquities, is objective; facts (insofar as they can even be called facts) must be viewed and depicted from a certain perspective. 33 Thus, while Swain (1996: 26-7) says that, for 32 For example: Bowersock (1966), Schultze (1986), Fox (1996), Swain (1996). 33 Gabba (1983: 20) uses the word “distortion” to describe a historian’s view of the past, but a better word would be “interpretation,’ since any representation of any event will necessarily contain the biases, prejudices, and ideological viewpoints of the person depicting it.

Even the apostle’s trip to Rome after appealing to Caesar is self-inflicted, since Agrippa reveals that he would have been released had he not invoked his right (Wallace and Williams 1998: 6). In ideological terms, Paul – and every other Roman – carries the habitus of the Roman Empire around with him wherever he goes: Paul is a citizen, and knows that this important ideological institution benefits all those who share in it. Thus, every time he mentions his citizenship as a trump card to get him out of trouble, the apostle is investing his ideological capital in his Imperial homeland.

Their descriptions of ‘barbarians’ and ‘aliens’ should not, however, be taken as objective, but as examples of how the ancients characterized ‘the other’, paying particular attention to the environmental determinism inherent in so many of these texts. As Laurence (1998a: 5; 1998b: 102-108) notes, the statements of these authors represent a worldview that used ethnicity to divide spatial territory. Such a view turns ethnicity into a static construct, in effect changing the term from representing a group of people (and thus plastic) to representing ‘lines in the sand’ – simple divisions of territory.

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