‘In Part a Roman Sea’: Rome and the Adriatic in the Third Century <span class="smallCaps">bc</span>

Nikola Čašule

in Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600755
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738791 | DOI:
‘In Part a Roman Sea’: Rome and the Adriatic in the Third Century bc

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This chapter analyses the evidence for Roman integration in networks of trade and communication in the Adriatic Sea during the third century bc, and its impact upon modern interpretations of the Romans' military intervention in the Greek east. New archaeological evidence for the character and function of trans-Adriatic networks based around a regional cult to the Greek hero Diomedes confirms that the third century Adriatic was an interconnected entity whose polities enjoyed strong links with each other and the wider Mediterranean world. Numismatic finds and the occurrence of Roman and Latin names in the epigraphic record of the eastern Adriatic demonstrate that Romans were active participants in these networks, with individual Romans becoming substantially integrated in the civic life of the region. These findings demand a reassessment of recent scholarship which has argued that the Romans were unfamiliar with the eastern Adriatic at the time of their first military intervention there in 229 bc.

Keywords: Roman Republic; Roman imperialism; Illyrian Wars; Roman colonisation; Mediterranean networks; Adriatic Sea; Polybius

Chapter.  10150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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