The Complex Nature Of The Roman Empire Essay

The Complex Nature Of The Roman Empire Essay

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The complex nature of the Roman Empire’s expansion throughout Europe and the Mediterranean has been a topic of discussion and various theories for many decades. Emerging from the theories of Romanisation, creolization and others, the likening of the Roman identity, culture and economy to the model of globalisation has become one of the more common and well applicable views in today’s archaeology. This essay will discuss the issues of globalisation as a theory and to what extent Europe and the Mediterranean can be considered globalised. This will be illustrated on examples of movements of goods, people and artistic thought.
Globalisation theory in the context of the Roman Empire emerged partially from the concept of Romanisation and the multiple attempts to devise a more fluid model suitable for describing the complex nature of the Roman economy (Versluys 2014, 13). Although some have suggested that our contemporary view on globalisation might not be entirely applicable that far back in history, the underlying concepts of globalisation such as the compression of time and space, enhanced relations between parts of the world and a movement towards certain homogeneity in goods and artistic styles, can be considered relevant even in a non-modern context (Witcher 2000, 3). However, as ‘globalisation’ and ‘global’ are terms which arose from our contemporary understanding of the workings of our own modern society, there are several issues which arise in relation to applying such terminology on the model of the Roman Empire’s economy (Witcher 2000, 3). The example of compression of time and space plays a very important role in the globalising elements of a society, but the Roman Empire was never able to reach a time-space compression as su...


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...ansion and movements of the military, however these traditions also seem to not have penetrated deeply into the local cultures.
The Roman Empire’s expansion can be considered globalising in relation to multiple factors such as the spread of mass produced goods and the movements of people. The adoption of these goods proposes an example of how the concepts of the local and the global interacted and formed a hybridised material culture. However, it is important to consider that artistic and architectural forms, which reflect deeply the contemporary though of the local societies, remain largely native even after the conquest. When taking into consideration the multiple facets of the societal structure and movement of people, goods and thought, the Roman Empire did seem to achieve to a large extent a uniformity of culture and trade which can be identified as globalised.

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