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Roma generadora de identidades

Antonio Caballos Rufino
Sabine Lefebvre


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1Patrick Le Roux

civic identities and provincial identities in imperial rome

Identity-related problems are not lacking in Roman sources. This is still a recent issue In the field of historical writing and now tends to displace older references that historical thinking has sought to correct or even suppress. In this context it is proposed to seek a clearer definition of words that are linked to the notion of identity. At the same time it is desirable to draw a distinction between the administrative and geographical register and the register of political identities if we are to avoid recurring methodological difficulties. One of the questions raised by the theme of discussion is why the Roman Empire did not produce a universal principle of identity —which was not strictly speaking the same thing as Roman citizenship— overlaying the omnipresent local identity embodied by a citizenship that was equally a patria, i.e. an ancestral heritage worthy of protection.

2Fernando Wulff Alonso

speaking of identities: historiographic considerations regarding italy between the republic and the empire

This article presents some thoughts prompted by studies on identities and belongings in the ancient world. The article suggests that recent reappraisals in history and other areas of knowledge in this field question outdated 19th-century modes of interpreting societies, which might properly be defined as nationalistic. After first presenting some examples of ongoing debates, the author considers how those models can be applied to the works of Mommsen and Syme with regard to Italy at the time of the Late Republic and the origins of the Principate. The article assesses some of the consequences for historical writing and suggests alternative views.

3Francisco Pina Polo

ethnic group, city and province in republican hispania

During the Republican period the concept of Hispania was at once a stable and a changing one. Paralleling the slowly-progressing conquest of Hispania, during the last two centuries of the Republic, Rome first embarked on a process of grasping the geography of the Iberian Peninsula, despite the consolidation of an erroneous notion of the orientation of the Pyrenees and a consequently inaccurate idea of the geography of north-western Hispania. Second, Rome promoted the city as an element of self-identification for the indigenous population as individuals and spurred a substantial change in the urban landscape. Third, in some cases Rome grouped highly diverse peoples under macro-ethnic denominators covering large geographical areas, lumping under a single heading what were in fact ethnically fragmented groups. The ethnic landscape of Republican Hispania as we know it is very much the landscape that the Romans believed they were seeing, or even the landscape that they themselves created or recreated.

4Francisco Beltrán Lloris

… «et sola omnivm provinciarvm vires svas postqvam victa est intellexit». an approximation to hispania as an identitary referent in the roman world

This article explores the notion of Hispania as a Roman creation which initially served to distinguish a heterogeneous set of peoples and communities within the Empire but which was gradually adopted and reconstructed by the Hispanic peoples into an identitary referent.

5Alexandra Dardenay

the iconographic dissemination of the founding myths of rome in the roman west: hispanic distinguishing marks

Hispania was the province where local elites exhibited by far the greatest enthusiasm for iconographic dissemination of the legend of the founding of Rome. This fact is particularly evidenced by the place awarded to the image of the primordia Urbis in domestic decoration: mosaics depicting the Roman she-wolf or the discovery of the Lupercal are more numerous in Hispania than in any other province of the Empire. And this elite enthusiasm is also evident in the ornamentation of urban spaces. Hispania could boast the possession of one, or even two replicas of the Forum Augustum: one at Mérida, and possibly also one at Córdoba. And again, the Iberian Peninsula has the honour of having furnished the largest number of bases of statues of the Roman she-wolf or the Lavinate sow, most commonly dedicated by local magistrates, protagonists of imperial worship or new citizens, in the city’s forum.

6Rudolf Haensch

the attitude of governors to their provinces

This article discusses the question of when and how the provinces acquired an identity of their own —and what kind of identity— not only in the eyes of their inhabitants but also in those of their governors. In this context it brings together highly scattered information relating to the following questions: what characterised a province in the eyes of Roman senators in the early years of the Principate? When can we detect the first signs of a provincial identity perceived by provincial populations? Did Rome’s representatives view the provinces simply as something to be exploited? There is evidence that the concilia provinciae and the upper echelons of the provinces were the real forgers of a provincial identity and that the moment when a province might acquire an identity of its own depended on many factors (e.g. natural frontiers, ethnic homogeneity, their history in the pre-Roman period, etc.). The article examines signs of the development of a specific identity, including in small provinces, in the eyes of their rulers: dedicatory offerings to gods of a specific province. Finally, it discusses the question of the extent to which a senator’s or a knight’s preferences would have influenced the choices of provincial governors.

7Milagros Navarro Caballero

group, culture and territory: «identitary» onomastic references of celtiberian and other peoples in the north of hispania citerior

This articles begins by analysing references to the anthroponym Celtiber, Celtibera: far from attesting to any putative Celtiberian self-identification, it appears as a cultivated name in highly Romanised milieux such as Vetto or Cantaber, which are also analysed. It then goes on to examine the references to other anthroponyms that are homonymous with peninsular ethnonyms: Asturus, Bracarus, Gallaecus, Arauus, Bibalus, Cilenus, Coporus, Equaesus, Limicus and Taporus. With the exception of Limicus (created from the name of a river), these names appear to have been in common use, lacking any apparent connection with the ethnonyms cited. Our survey suggests that ethnonym-related anthroponyms were not given for geographical reasons connected to a family’s movement but for cultural reasons.

8Francisco Javier Navarro Santana

the government of hispania tarraconensis and provincial identity

The reorganisation of the provinces of Hispania undertaken by Augustus at the end of the civil wars was not a coherent process, the result of a thorough overhaul to adapt them to the new form of government; rather, old republican administrative principles persisted in the three Hispanic provinces, with more than a little improvisation —understandably enough in the early years of imperial rule. Thus, each of the three provinces was organised along entirely different lines. The Citerior province became the largest in the Empire; however, in the course of its administrative development in the 1st to 3rd centuries, the imperial chancery itself came to realise that they were in practice two distinct provinces —the Levantine area and the Ebro Valley on the one hand and the North-West on the other— and devised various solutions for better governance, including a short-lived provincial division. However, while the fact of Citerior’s remaining intact throughout the Principate caused administrative problems, it did work in favour of the Romanisation of the NorthWestern territories, which could have been considerably had the three conventi formed an independent province as early as the 1st century. Thanks to the efforts of the provincial governors and the outstanding role played by the capital Tarraco, territories which were originally more backward than the Levant were able to make up the lost historical ground.

9Sabine Lefebvre

onomastics and provincial identity: the case of «lusitanus»

The patria of the inhabitants of the Empire was the ciuitas, where in most cases they were born, lived and took part in political, cultural, social and economic life. The basic cell, the ciuitas, was part of a far larger unit created by the Roman conqueror —the province. How was this purely administrative framework experienced by its inhabitants? This article examines references to Lusitanus/a in an enquiry as to the possible existence of a provincial identitary practice.

10Susana Marcos

geographical space, political space: the lusitanian provincial frontier, a defining limit?

The notion of a provincial frontier, as both a geographical and a political concept, provides the opportunity to discuss the issue of Lusitanian identity. From a geographical standpoint it is the way in which society grasps the perceived space, and the way in which society presents and represents itself. For this purpose the mapping of certain elements — particularly onomastic elements— deliberately selected on various scales on either side of the frontier, is a valuable tool that can help determine whether the provincial boundary is a culturally valid and pertinent concept for discussing Lusitanian identity.

11Antonio Caballos Rufino

baetica as an identifying referent in epigraphic documents

Based on a reading of collective «identity» as a historical construct subject to a process of permanent reconfiguration, recreated individually and collectively and in a permanent state of flux under the weight of manifold continuous impacts and pressures, internal and external, this article utilises epigraphic sources to try and estimate the extent to which there may have existed and developed an identification with the notion of «Baetic» —a consciousness and sense of belonging to a specific group defined by that term and accepted as normal.

12Myriam A. Gordón Peral

functional structure and provincial framework: the conventus hispalensis

In this article the author seeks to determine, from the scant sources available, whether there are sufficient grounds to posit the existence of a conventus-based identity in the case of Hispalis—in other words, whether the communities that comprised the conventus Hispalensis came to identify with it. The assumption behind this approach is that the conventus iuridicus —at least in Baetica—was not a geographical area nor an administrative demarcation— which the province did come to be— but the sum of the inhabitants of certain civic organisations that shared a common referent in the judicial administration, centred in the city of reference for the purpose of dealing with any business for which the municipal regulations made no provision.

13Genaro Chic García

economic elements in the integration of baetica province

This article springs from the need —in order to gain a better understanding of the subject— to find a new methodological approach based on an integration of the systems of emotional and rational intelligence resulting from the configuration of the human brain. In this way we can readily grasp the notion of an economy of prestige (based on the qualitative debt created by gifts between acquaintances) and its interaction with the market economy (based on quantitative debt in an impersonal context). From that standpoint the article posits a need to strike a balance between the rational concept of State and the emotional concept of Nation, as Rome so successfully did. Indeed, the requirements of the State demanded the rationalisation and quantification of economic activities in order to facilitate administrative management, and hence integration. On the basis of these general theoretical premises, the article examines the extent to which the economy may be considered an integrative (or disintegrative) element in public consciousness regarding Baetica province.

14Enrique Melchor Gil

supra-local elites in baetica: between civitas and province

This article examines and identifies a number of individuals and gentes of the decurionate who settled in townships not originally their own or took part in the political, religious and economic life of various cities in Baetica, managing to break out of the narrow bounds of action and influence within the territorial limits of their communities of origin and demonstrating the existence of supra-local elites at a provincial level.

15Aarón A. Reyes Domínguez

imagery as a pillar of ideological dissemination in the province

Recent studies on human behaviour have highlighted the importance of imagery and identity projection in the configuration of human groups. The reign of Augustus saw the creation of a social and economic model that was consolidated under the succeeding dynasty. The pace of change in the way that the elite used imagery to secure their power matched the pace of change in a society that needed external identities. The perception that people had of institutions, including the Emperor, was vital to their development over two centuries and to the shift to an autocratic, invasive regime.

16Manfred Hainzmann

«provincial identity» and «national identity» — the example of noricum

The Regnum Noricum came under the sway of Rome along with the Alpes provinces and Raetia. Thanks to long-standing friendly relations, and perhaps also the diplomatic skill of the Noricans, whose tribal community professed loyalty to the Imperial House from its outset, the new province thereafter not only achieved a considerable degree of economic and cultural prosperity but even managed to preserve its «national identity» to a certain extent. The latter is expressed in a number of epigraphic documents relating to political, religious and cultural affairs both inside and outside the provincial boundaries proper. The surviving evidence must also be seen as part of imperial romanitas, but at the same time it affords a glimpse of some details bearing on the sense of identity of the Norican people—or rather of some particular groups among them. This is all the more apparent in the religious sphere, with the worship of both indigenous gods and the syncretic cults of what is known as the imperial religion, of which this article looks in more detail at the Genius Noricorum and the national goddess Noreia An equally pronounced «national sentiment» is suggested by the concept of a natione Noricus, a sign of identity of which there is documentary evidence in many other nationes of the Imperium Romanum, although the natione descriptor occurs almost exclusively in connection with members of the army. But at the same time there is evidence of a kind of «national consciousness» in the civil sphere, possibly reflected in the designation civis Noricus or the collective concept of Norici Mediterranei. In either case there is certainly a kind of «provincial identity». All the evidence cited in this article suggests that identity in the province of Noricum is a particular case.

17Laurent Brassous

identifying the administrative capitals of the hispaniae

With the reorganisation of the provinces in the late 3rd century following Diocletian’s reform, new administrative capitals appeared in the Iberian Peninsula. Despite some paradoxical evidence and the uncertainties that still persist in the identification of those cities in Hispania, their evolution and the changes revealed by archaeologists have often been interpreted on the assumption of such capital status. And yet no source explicitly mentions such a status in connection with cities so identified by historians. The identification of the cities of residence of the governors of Late Antiquity, based chiefly on secondary sources or on hypotheses, is less plausible than tradition supposes. The analysis reported here of epigraphies of vicars and governors found in the Iberian Peninsula throws new light on this question and assists progress in identifying provincial capitals. This analysis further prompts a discussion of the role of the late antique governor in a province and his influence in the provincial capital.

© Casa de Velázquez, 2011

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