Abstract: The Romanization of Rome


The term Romanization is impossible to use anymore in the English-speaking debate, because of its alleged value-laden and one-directional nature. And yet, presumably, it cannot be argued to be a sign of neocolonialism to speak of the Romanization of Rome itself. Long before becoming the beacon of civilization that the Romantic scholars venerated, Rome was, well, not Rome yet. In the 5th, 4th and 3rd centuries BCE Rome had, at least archaeologically, very few of the elements that characterized it in the Late Republic and in the Augustan period, and that supposedly were globally diffused by her. Archaeological discoveries in the last two decades allow us to paint a new and different picture of Rome before it went viral throughout the Mediterranean. Settlement patterns, architecture, urbanism and many other indicators can be rather radically reassessed to produce a new and provocative concept of Rome in the 2nd century BCE needing to be Romanized almost more than other Italians.

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