Civic transformation in early imperial Latium: An archaeological and social history of Praeneste, Tibur and Tusculum
Notarian, Matthew F.
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This dissertation demonstrates how three communities at the mountainous fringe of Rome's hinterland (Praeneste, Tibur and Tusculum) developed and prospered in the changing socio-political and economic structure of the first two centuries AD. The central theme is the role of these cities in an extended metropolitan system, characterized by intense interconnections with the capital. Although archaeological survey and economic studies have revolutionized our understanding of Rome's relationship to its countryside (i.e. the suburbium ), the suburban towns have been dismissed as underpopulated or neglected by an urban elite more interested in their neighboring villas. Utilizing archaeology, epigraphy and literature, the relationship between the material culture of the towns and the social history of their communities is examined. The result brings together all of the available data for urban development in these communities during the early and middle empire, building a history of suburban civic life. Finally, a preliminary examination investigates how the interaction of local townspeople (e.g. magistrates, augustales and collegiati ) with the villa-owning Roman aristocracy sustained local civic identity.