Epigraphy and urban communities in early Roman Baetica. [In two volumes].
University of Southampton, School of Humanities,
At the present time there is enormous opportunity to investigate the epigraphic assemblages of the Roman province of Baetica. The steady progression in the research and publication of the revised editions of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum is providing a significant new study resource for the material which takes appropriate account of the archaeological contexts of the material wherever possible.
This research takes full advantage of current advances in the epigraphic discipline, and brings the benefit of a fully contextualised archaeological methodology to a study of approximately 1000 Latin inscriptions from a selection of twelve towns predominantly located across the landscape of the lower and western Guadalquivir Valley in the Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía of southern Spain.
Discussion of the place of inscriptions within Roman towns is not new, but unique to this research is the way in which the methodology contextualises the material within its appropriate spatial, historical and social context. It builds upon a background of social theory to model the relationship between human society and its material culture in an attempt to identify a series of relationships not considered before with this material. Inscriptions are meticulously analysed for patterns of common behaviour in the way that they were designed and erected. More specifically, it identifies instances where these similarities extend beyond individual settlements, and conversely where individual settlements display distinctly unique characteristics that distinguish them from the other towns studied here. An understanding of the social context of inscriptions enables us to interpret the motivations stimulating the use of inscribed monuments throughout the study region. These are key to answering the question asked by this thesis, namely how the inscriptions from the urban communities of Early Roman Baetica reflect the interconnected nature of Baetican society and provide evidence for social connectivity throughout the study region.
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