Legions and locals : Roman provincial communities and their trophy monuments



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This study considers five Roman trophy monuments in the context of global versus local culture in the provinces: the Sullan trophy at Chaeroneia, Pompey’s trophy at Panissars, Octavian’s campsite memorial at Nikopolis, Augustus’s Alpine trophy at La Turbie, and Trajan’s Dacian trophy at Adamklissi. Each trophy represents a unique case study of an identifiable Roman form and tradition deemed appropriate for/by a provincial community. These individualized characteristics imply localized negotiation of imperial or global ideas—specifically, a non-Roman’s ability to manipulate Roman concepts emanating from the capital and/or the desire for Romans to these ideas to appeal to a provincial audience. My study of these trophies uncovers a widespread phenomenon that contradicts the assumption that culture was dictated from the center to the periphery, from the elite to the non-elite and from the urban to the rural in the Roman Empire. This dissertation is a response to Simon Keay’s and Nicola Terrenato’s lamentation over the lack of comparative analysis for these recent theories and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill’s challenge to concretize definitions of Romanization. In fact, I demonstrate how these five Roman trophies featured themes legible to a broad audience in the ancient world and specialized narratives that catered to the local scene. Altogether, these case studies represent compelling examples of a much more dynamic kind of Romanization than current scholarship admits.