The Sons of Remus: Memory, Community, and the Construction of Local Identity in Roman Gaul and Spain

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The Sons of Remus: Memory, Community, and the Construction of Local Identity in Roman Gaul and Spain

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Title: The Sons of Remus: Memory, Community, and the Construction of Local Identity in Roman Gaul and Spain
Author: Johnson, Andrew
Citation: Johnson, Andrew. 2012. The Sons of Remus: Memory, Community, and the Construction of Local Identity in Roman Gaul and Spain. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: This dissertation explores the relationship between social memory and the formation of community and individual identities in the Roman provinces of western continental Europe. While contributing to the burgeoning interest in memory in the Roman world, this study seeks to counterbalance the prevailing trends in modern scholarship that have generally neglected the role of memory in the West, focusing instead on the Greek East, or have misrepresented the importance of 'forgetting' in the provinces of Spain and Gaul. Through a combination of archaeological, literary, and especially epigraphic evidence, the project aims to paint a picture of local complexity, diversity, and agency, a corrective of previous emphases on the homogenizing processes of 'Romanization'. Having built a framework for understanding the ways in which local communities were imagined and reimagined, and how they situated themselves in time and space and differentiated themselves from 'others', the study then seeks to demonstrate the central place of social memory in the construction and performance of these local identities. This analysis takes into account the variform manifestations of community memory - from the cult of local heroes to the interweaving of Roman and local pasts in foundation myths, from dancers and druids to cosmologies and iconographies - and offers a new lens through which to view the western provinces. More broadly, in arguing for the fundamental importance of communities and of local identity within the Roman world, the project works toward an alternative model to both top-down and centripetal-acculturative interpretations of Roman imperialism.
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10364614
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