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Epigraphic Landscape of Roman Italy (BICS Supplement 73)

With contributions from Edward Bispham, Guy Bradley, Alison E. Cooley, Fay Glinister, Valerie Hope, Mark Pobjoy and Benet Salway. The Epigraphic Landscape presents a series of case-studies in which a new generation of scholars examines the significance of interpreting inscriptions in terms of their topographical context and physical appearance. Some chapters focus on a genre of inscription – honorific building and funerary – whilst others discuss a single text such as the Rapino Bronze and the album of Canusium. This approach reveals the contribution of inscribed monuments to the transformation of towns and countryside and the impact of Rome on the landscape of the rest of Italy. The integration of epigraphic literary archaeological and topographical sources suggests new ways of looking at Roman colonization in Umbria. The transformation of the epigraphic landscape of its surrounding region challenges current views on the date of Lavinium’s decline. Similar inscriptions from Puteoli provide a starting-point for exploring the activities of the super-élite of Campania.  By trying to reconstruct the motivations behind inscriptions several contributors reveal the subjectivity of these texts – such as the factors governing the appearance of gladiators’ tombstones – and warn against adopting too literal an interpretation of these sources even if inscribed in stone.

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