Ethnic Identity and Imperial Power
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Ethnic Identity and Imperial Power

By Nico Roymans
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Book Description

This study explores the theme of Batavian ethnicity and ethnogenesis in the context of the Early Roman Empire, starting with the current view of ethnicity as a culturally determined, subjective construct shaped through interaction with an ethnic 'other'. The study analyses literary, epigraphic and archaeological sources relating to the Batavian image and self-image against the background of the specific integration of the Batavian community into the Roman world. The Batavian society was exploited by the Roman authorities for the recruitment of auxiliary soldiers. As a result it developed into a full-blown military community. The study's main conclusion is that Rome exerted a profound influence on the formation of the Batavians both as a political entity and as an ethnic group. The combination of an explicit theoretical framework and a clear presentation of empirical data makes this book an indispensable work for all those interested in ethnicity and ethnogenesis in the context of the Roman Empire.

In dit tiende deel van de AAS-serie staat de etnische ontwikkeling en etnogenese van de Bataven centraal in de context van het vroeg-Romeinse Rijk. Uitgangspunt vormt de duidige visie op etnische identiteit als een cultureel bepaalde, subjectieve constructie die tot stand komt in de interactie met de etnische 'ander'. Roymans maakt gebruik van historische en archeologische bronnen om het Bataafse imago en zelfbeeld te bestuderen tegen de achtergrond van de integratie van de Bataven in de Romeinse wereld. De Bataafse gemeenschap werd intensief geëxploiteerd door de Romeinse autoriteiten voor de recrutering van hulpsoldaten. Als het gevolg daarvan ontwikkelde zij zich tot een sterk gemilitariseerde gemeenschap. De belangrijkste conclusie in deze studie is dat Rome een vergaande invloed uitoefende op de vorming van de Bataven als politieke entiteit en als een etnische groep. De combinatie van een uitgebreid theoretisch kader met een heldere presentatie van empirische informatie maken dit boek tot een onmisbaar werk voor iedereen die geïnteresseerd in etniciteit en etnogenese ten tijde van de Romeinse overheersing.

Table of Contents
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • 1 Research aims, central concepts and perspectives
    • 1.1 The study of ethnicity and ethnogenesis
    • 1.2 Roman imperial power and the ethnic dynamics in the Lower Rhine frontier
    • 1.3 Ethnicity, texts and material culture. Methodological considerations
    • 1.4 Structure of the text
  • 2 Social change in the Late Iron Age Lower Rhine region
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 The adoption of coinage
    • 2.3 The emergence of regional sanctuaries
    • 2.4 The development of a major nucleated settlement at Kessel/Lith
    • 2.5 The mass circulation of glass bracelets
    • 2.6 Discussion. A new kind of society in the Lower Rhine region?
  • 3 Caesar's conquest and the ethnic reshuffling of the Lower Rhine frontier zone
    • 3.1 Major changes in the tribal map after the Roman conquest
    • 3.2 Archaeological discussion on continuity and discontinuity of habitation in the Rhine delta in the later 1st century BC
    • 3.3 The Lower Rhine population and their presumed Germanic ethnicity
  • 4 The gold triskeles coinages of the Eburones
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Late Iron Age coin circulation in the Lower Rhine region
    • 4.3 The triskeles Scheers 31 type coins: typology, metrology, and distribution
    • 4.4 Chronology and the problem of historical interpretation
    • 4.5 Ascription to the Eburones and the link to Caesar’s conquest
    • 4.6 Patterns of deposition and loss: the archaeological contexts
    • 4.7 Conclusion
    • Appendix 4.1. List of ‘imported’ gold staters found in the Lower Rhine region
    • Appendix 4.2. Descriptive list of the Scheers 31 triskeles coins
  • 5 Roman frontier politics and the formation of a Batavian polity
    • 5.1 The roots of the alliance between the Romans and Batavians
    • 5.2 On the role of a king
    • 5.3 From kingship to magistrature
    • 5.4 Conclusion
  • 6 The Lower Rhine triquetrum coinages and the formation of a Batavian polity
    • 6.1 Distribution, classification and chronology of the Lower Rhine triquetrum coinages
    • 6.2 Batavian emissions?
    • 6.3 Production, circulation and deposition of triquetrum coinages in the Batavian river area. Some Hypotheses
    • 6.4 Conclusion
    • Appendix 6.1: List of sites where triquetrum coins have been found
  • 7 Kessel/Lith. A Late Iron Age central place in the Rhine/Meuse delta
    • 7.1 Introduction
    • 7.2 Dredged from sand and gravel. History of the finds, the find circumstances, and representativity
    • 7.3 Description of the find complex
    • 7.4 The Meuse/Waal river junction at Kessel /Lith in the Late Iron Age and Early Roman period
    • 7.5 Settlement, cult place or battlefield? Interpretation of the find complex at Kessel/Lith
    • 7.6 A monumental Roman temple at Kessel
    • 7.7 Grinnes and Vada
    • 7.8 The Kessel/Lith settlement from a Northwest-European perspective
    • 7.9 Kessel/Lith as a centre of power and a key place in the construction of a Batavian identity group
    • Appendix 7.1: Descriptive catalogue of the metal finds dredged at Kessel/Lith
    • Plates
  • 8 The political and institutional structure of the pre-Flavian civitas Batavorum
    • 8.1 Introduction
    • 8.2 Roman imperialism and the control of tribal groups in the Germanic frontier
    • 8.3 The municipalisation of the civitas Batavorum
    • 8.4 Nijmegen as a central place
    • 8.5 The pre-Flavian civitas Batavorum and its relation to coastal tribes in the Rhine/Meuse delta
    • 8.6 Civitas organisation and Batavian identity
  • 9 Foederis Romani monumenta. Public memorials of the alliance with Rome
    • 9.1 The marble head of Julius Caesar from Nijmegen
    • 9.2 The Tiberius column from Nijmegen
    • 9.3 A fragment of an imperial tabula patronatus(?) from Escharen
    • 9.4 Discussion
  • 10 Image and self-image of the Batavians
    • 10.1 Introduction
    • 10.2 The Roman army and the cultivation of a Batavian identity
    • 10.3 Dominant Roman images of the Batavians
    • 10.4 Dominant elements in the self-image of Batavians
  • 11 Hercules and the construction of a Batavian identity in the context of the Roman empire
    • 11.1 Introduction. Myth, history and the construction of collective identities
    • 11.2 Evidence for Trojan foundation myths in Gaul and Britain
    • 11.3 Hercules as the first civiliser of the Germanic frontier
    • 11.4 The cult of Hercules among the Batavians
    • 11.5 The appeal of the Roman Hercules and the construction of a Batavian identity
    • 11.6 The Hercules sanctuaries and their significance for the construction of a Batavian identity<
    • 11.7 On the Hercules cult in the other civitates of Lower Germany
    • 11.8 Discussion
  • 12 Conclusion and epilogue
    • 12.1 The ethnogenesis of the Batavians. A summary
    • 12.2 From a Batavian people to a Roman civitas?
    • 12.3 The case of the Batavians and ethnogenetic theory
  • Abbreviations
  • Bibliography
  • General index
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