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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds SIMON KEAY: I know you come from a classics background. So how do you think all of this archaeological view of the Roman Mediterranean, how is that making you think about the Roman Empire?

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 seconds MEAGHAN CARLEY: Well, as you said, we have all kinds of physical evidence for that. And sort of a span of their civilisation, which I never really grasped before. You said North Africa, Asia Minor, Spain. And I think it really speaks to a sort of globalisation, which is something that I think we often forget they did first.


You will have gathered that I think that the material culture demonstrates the span of the Roman civilisation and in turn suggest a sort of “globalisation” in the early first millennium.

Meaghan Carley - Portus Student Guide

Meaghan is using the term “globalisation” to express a sense of similarity - she doesn’t literally equate the Roman past with a contemporary concept. This is an important distinction.

So, we now want you to consider this question: to what extent can we apply a concept like “globalisation” to the Roman world? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.

Simon and Dragana

[Extra] References and sources

Discussions of “globalization”:

  • Hingley, R. 2005 Globalizing Roman Culture. London: Routledge.
  • Hitchner, R. B. 2008 Globalization avant la lettre: globalization and the history of the Roman empire. New Global Studies 2 (2): article 2. Available at http://www.bepress.com/ngs/vol2/iss2/art2.

Work comparing empires:

  • Morris, I.; Scheidel, W. (eds.) 2009. The dynamics of ancient empires: state power from Assyria to Byzantium, Oxford.
  • Scheidel, W. (ed.) 2009. Rome and China: comparative perspectives on ancient world empires, Oxford.

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Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the Lost Harbour of Ancient Rome

University of Southampton