Item description for Romanization in the Time of Augustus by Professor Ramsay MacMullen...
Why during the lifetime of Augustus (63 B.C. to A.D. 14) did Roman civilization spread so quickly, influencing art and architecture, religion, law, local speech, and city design throughout the ancient world? In his latest book Ramsay MacMullen argues that this acculturation was due to eager imitation by conquered peoples ably served by Romans' effective techniques of mass production and standardization.
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Studio: Yale University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.54" Width: 6.36" Height: 0.76" Weight: 1.18 lbs.
Release Date Sep 30, 2000
Publisher Yale University Press
ISBN 0300082541 ISBN13 9780300082548
Reviews - What do customers think about Romanization in the Time of Augustus?
It's architecture baby! Sep 9, 2002
Ramsay MacMullen's recent book is a copiously documented work which aside from contemporary sources, uses scholarly literature in German, French, Italian and Spanish. It examines the "Romanization" of the Empire in the age of Augustus and it concentrates on the East, Africa, Spain and Gaul. The evidence of romanization is largely architectural and so we read accounts of the diffusion of surveys, structures, the use of marble, coliseums, baths, and food markets. We hear about the use of gladiator games, the spread of roman frescos, clothes and sculpture as well as the spread of Roman wine instead of continental beer. We learn about bridge building and road building, and the spread of viniculture. We learn that the Romans introduced the domestic cat to Gaul. There is an amusing passage about the cult of the Emperor. People know that August was named after the first Emperor. But in Cyprus, all twelve months were named after the Emperor and his family, and Egypt went so far as not only to celebrate September 23, his birthday, but also the 23rd of every month.
But what if you are not interested in the diffusion of Roman architecture? Then this book is probably not going to be as interesting or helpful. MacMullen himself admits that though he can show the spread of viniculture, he can tell us little about the social context, such as whether it was based on slavery. The evidence, by necessity, is overwhelmingly architectural, so what the overwhelming majority of the population thought about these changes isn't clear. MacMullen emphasizes that these changes were not the result of an oppressive Roman ideology but were accepted by the local elites because they found the new houses, new baths and new frescoes, useful and attractive. There is probably some truth to this. But for those who are not interested in the diffusion of Roman architecture, it is not clear why they should especially care about this book. It does not possess the inherent interest of MacMullen's previous books about Christianity and Paganism.