The Shape of the Roman Order

The Shape of the Roman Order : The Republic and Its Spaces

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In recent years, a long-established view of the Roman Empire during its great age of expansion has been called into question by scholars who contend that this model has made Rome appear too much like a modern state. This is especially true in terms of understanding how the Roman government ordered the city--and the world around it--geographically. In this innovative, systematic approach, Daniel J. Gargola demonstrates how important the concept of space was to the governance of Rome. He explains how Roman rulers, without the means for making detailed maps, conceptualized the territories under Rome's power as a set of concentric zones surrounding the city. In exploring these geographic zones and analyzing how their magistrates performed their duties, Gargola examines the idiosyncratic way the elite made sense of the world around them and how it fundamentally informed the way they ruled over their dominion.

From what geometrical patterns Roman elites preferred to how they constructed their hierarchies in space, Gargola considers a wide body of disparate materials to demonstrate how spatial orientation dictated action, shedding new light on the complex peculiarities of Roman political organization.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 25.15mm | 576.06g
  • Chapel Hill, United States
  • English
  • 1469631822
  • 9781469631820
  • 1,001,505

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A thorough examination of the spatial practice of Rome's public actors in the Republican period.--American Historical Review Provides an insightful account of the role of geographic or spatial thought in the Roman self-understanding and will be invaluable for serious students of the Roman republic. . . . Recommended.--Choice Makes a pretty compelling case that Roman concepts of space and its control were primarily shaped by religion--specifically, by the need to ensure that certain rites were performed correctly.--London Review of Books
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About Daniel J. Gargola

Daniel J. Gargola is associate professor of history at the University of Kentucky.
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