Stratification and social inequality in Italy and Lugdunum. A comparative qualitative epigraphical analysis of class structure, power relations and social struggle between municipal status groups during the principate

Begin - Einde 
2010 - 2014 (afgewerkt)
Vakgroep Geschiedenis



This project aims to resolve an inconsistency in the research on Roman local social hierarchies. The Romans minutely described their social position in inscriptions. Modern scholars, however, often only use broad categories, especially when they discuss the lower social groups. We will analyse the different so-called 'status groups' (social groups with a common lifestyle, birth, profession and level of prestige) found in local Roman municipalities and the relations between them. The analysis of incriptions from local communities of the Italian peninsula will be compared to material from Lugdunum. This was the capital city of Tres Galliae, a province comprising present-day France, Belgium and a part of Switzerland. More specific, we will analyse how power relations, competition and violence are connected to 'class' and hierarchy in general. In order to do so, we will use concepts of P. Bourdieu. On the whole, this project is a reaction against the scholarship that treats or simply neglects the humiliores as an undifferentiated and uninteresting 'class'. Both methodology and the objective of this project itself are what lend it the unique innovative strength it needs.