Greece and Rome

Tim Whitmarsh

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Greece and Rome

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Ancient Roman History



Looking mainly on the literature of the Roman Empire, this article examines the kinds of Hellenisms practised by Romans and other non-Greeks. It claims that not all Hellenisms were centred on fifth-century Athens and that some looked for inspiration to archaic Greece. While Hellenism on the part of Greek writers could be interpreted as anti-Romanism, few Greek texts of the empire offer unambiguous criticism of Rome. People may find both pro-Roman and anti-Roman sentiments in an author, and it is not easy to prove that an author always adopts a particular stance on Rome. If elite Romans themselves championed Hellenism as a cultural legacy, and if Greeks also deployed it to articulate a variety of subject positions in the empire, it appears critically more productive to see Hellenism as one of several modes of interaction available to the colonizers and the colonized during Roman imperial domination over Greece.

Keywords: Roman Empire; Hellenisms; archaic Greece; anti-Romanism; imperial domination; colonization

Article.  6638 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Ancient Roman History

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