EVENT: Fifth Talk of Liverpool’s Work in Progress Seminar Series (Wednesday 15th March)

The Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology department at the University of Liverpool is delighted to announce the fifth talk for the Work in Progress (WiP) seminar series.

Façade of the Celsus library, in Ephesus, near Selçuk, west Turkey. Source: Benh LIEU SONG, 2010, Wikimedia Commons,  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (no changes made).

Dr Paolo Costa (Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome) will present a paper on local autonomies, self-government, and Imperial rule in Ephesus in the first century A.D. :

The administrative and judicial organization of the Early Empire is often thought of as a monolithic complex. On the other hand, the literary sources (e.g. the writings of Apuleius, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch or the Acts of the Apostles) and the epigraphic and papyrological sources, but also some juridical sources, reveal the complexity of the picture, especially considering the Greek provinces.

Even in the Early Empire, the cities retained their administrative structure (city council, assembly and local magistrates), their courts and local laws, sometimes also enforced by Roman magistrates. Furthermore, there were numerous civitates liberae, i.e. exempt from the jurisdiction of the provincial governor and from the lex provinciae. The limit was the disturbance of the Roman order. Romanization did not occur by imposition, but by the composition and assimilation of symbols, ideologies and images and through the involvement of the city elites. The most recent historiography has underlined the multifaceted and heterogeneous nature of the relationship between the central Roman domain and the cities and local autonomies and has proposed a model of indirect rule which will then spread in some modern colonial systems. The paper, focusing on Ephesus, aims to show the heterogeneity of the relationships between Roman rule and local autonomies, considering cultural, juridical and religious aspects and highlighting the social effects of these relationships.

The talk will be given at the Kate Marsh Room (8-14 Abercromby Square, Room 117, University of Liverpool) on Wednesday 15th March from 1pm-2pm UK time.

For a Zoom link, follow the registration HERE.


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