Alessandro Barchiesi and Walter Scheidel

in The Oxford Handbook of Roman Studies

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199211524
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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Roman Studies defies straightforward definition in large part because of the sheer size and depth of the footprint of the Roman Empire. Roman Studies not only cuts across conventional disciplinary boundaries but also liberally extends the notion of ‘Roman-ness’ across a variety of cultures from the Atlantic into the Middle East. Its location within Classics entails a notion of guardianship, of preserving and increasing our knowledge of cultures that owe their privileged status in the present to putatively unique traits or their putative influence on what is, in similarly loaded terms, labelled ‘Western Civilization’. The study of Latin literature and related forms of expression remained important in medieval and early modern Europe, in literary history and in diverse areas such as religion, history of thought, science, and postcolonial studies. The evolution of ‘Latin Studies’ even differs in outlook from Roman antiquarian and historical studies. This book explores the tools needed to unlock the Roman past, including the legacy of its cultural production.

Keywords: Roman Studies; Roman Empire; Western Civilization; Classics; Latin literature; Latin Studies; cultural production; literary history; religion; science

Article.  2842 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History

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