By Professor Greg Woolf
This booklet stories the techniques conventionally termed "Romanization" via an research of the event of Roman rule over the Gallic province of the empire within the interval 2 hundred BC-AD three hundred. It examines how and why Gallo-Roman civilization emerged from the war of words among the iron-age cultures of Gaul and the civilization we name classical. It develops an unique synthesis and argument that may shape a bridge among the disciplines of classics and archaeology and should be of curiosity to all scholars of cultural swap.
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Extra resources for Becoming Roman: The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul
Cultural brokers may also be examples of 'marginal men', individuals whose power derives from their contact with the outside, rather than is threatened by it: Geertz (i960), Firth (1965), Press (1969). Various forms of collusion and competition between the partners in these exchanges are attested, just as cultural change can strengthen or weaken existing regimes of power. 49 See Foster (i960) for the notion of contact culture. The idea of frontier societies reproducing the ideals of the metropole is exemplified by several papers in Bohannon and Plog (1967) and is a theme of Kopytoff (1987).
At a more detailed level, a number of factors seem to have been important. The attitude of representatives of the imperial power to their subjects, the nature of the demands they made on them and the institutions they used to govern them all have influenced the impact of incorporation, while on the side of the subjects of empire the variables seem even more complex, ranging from patterns of land tenure and family structure to religion and the ways in which cultural identity was denned. Other factors might be mentioned - racism, disease, sexual politics - but the point is made.
These outbreaks of violence might be viewed as interruptions in the building of an imperial system of power in the Gallic provinces, but they also contributed to the building process, providing some Gauls with the chance to prove their loyalty to Rome, and Rome with the chance to demonstrate the benefits of collaboration and the new discipline of empire. It is difficult to judge how quickly those lessons were learnt, but even allowing for the dominance of the imperial narrative, nothing on the scale of the war of AD 21 seems to have occurred in the second century, and the Severan civil war stirred up nothing like the imperium Galliarum of 69-70.
Becoming Roman: The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul by Professor Greg Woolf