ROMANCING THE CELTS
DOI link for ROMANCING THE CELTS
ROMANCING THE CELTS book
The term ‘Romanisation’ has become shorthand for what we, as archaeologists, perceive as the influence of Roman tastes and values on patterns of consumption and production in the non-Latin provinces of the Empire and in bordering territories. The identification of what processes in the past this actually reflects is rather less clear. A variety of possibilities exist and in all probability a combination of them has contributed to the production of the evidence. John Barrett, speaking in the session from which many chapters of this book were drawn, argued against the usefulness of the concept of Romanisation on the grounds, as I understood him, that aesthetics and values in Rome itself were fluid, dynamic and open to external influence and therefore could not provide a stable model for emulation (now published as Barrett 1997). What we have to ask ourselves is whether this perspective, in itself, is not ahistorical and whether it denies not simply agency but also motivation to individuals in specific historical conditions in the provinces. An attempt by a Briton or a Gaul to be more like the Romans he encountered cannot be discounted as a possibility merely on the grounds that the Romans themselves changed. Any given individual who encountered the Romans will have developed his or her own Platonic or Weberian ideal of what romanitas (to use another problematic word!) demanded, and the objective accuracy of these images is neither here nor there.