Rome’s Cultural Revolution

Emma Dench writes:

Instead of focusing narrowly on the individuals and events that made Rome great, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill is concerned with the way Italy became Roman and Rome became Italian. This process, which began with the Roman conquest of Italy in the fourth and third centuries bce and was accelerated by the enfranchisement of peninsular Italy after the Social War of 91-89 BCE, was inextricably tied to the breakdown of the Roman Republic, with its comparatively exclusive governing elite, and the emergence of the Augustan principate after the battle of Actium in 31 BCE.

(LRB 25 February 2010)