Beyond text: Latin inscriptions as material culture in Roman Sardinia (237BC-AD300).

Steedman, Martha Johanna (2014) Beyond text: Latin inscriptions as material culture in Roman Sardinia (237BC-AD300). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis uses the early Latin inscriptions of Sardinia to investigate aspects of culture contact and local responses to new ideas of inscribing on stone after the Roman take-over of Sardinia. Previous traditions may also have had an impact on the inscriptions of the Roman era; in this case, the Nuragic and Punic periods which preceded the Roman conquest. The Latin inscriptions are used to examine the results of the cultural encounters between existing populations and incomers and to see whether the incorporation of previous traditions has led to expressions of a more ‘indigenous’ or even a ‘Romano-Sardo’ identity.
Epigraphic material is used typically only as a textual source. Naturally there are some exceptions, such as inscriptions with high quality relief sculpture which have been used to investigate perceived identities or the portrayal of certain aspects of life. However, the majority of inscriptions do not fall into this category and the iconographic aspects of these stones are often very subtle. Therefore, the inscriptions studied in this thesis are treated as material culture and their every detail is considered. To this end the concept of the chaîne opératoire is examined and the various stages in the production of epigraphic material are set out.
This thesis further considers to what extent inscriptions can be considered as an aspect of Romanisation and postcolonial theory provides the overarching framework with which culture contact is examined. This concept allows this process to be viewed as a fluid two-way interaction, rather than the static imposition of culture by a dominant power. It also permits the contemplation of such issues as changes or continuity in epigraphic expression and the creation of new identities.
The main aim is to get a detailed picture of local responses to the imported Latin epigraphic habit, and to this end the island has been split into smaller sections and relational database of the relevant inscriptions has been created to facilitate analysis. The results of this detailed approached are presented in one chapter that gives an overview of the entire island and three chapters addressing case study areas in more detail.
The three study areas clearly demonstrate local differences in epigraphic expression and the merger of Roman elements with local practices that in some cases may have been incorporated to set up a distinct non-Roman identity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available.
Keywords: inscriptions, epitaphs, local variation, local responses to Latin epigraphic habit, hybrid epitaphs.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: Hanson, Professor W.S.
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Mrs Martha Johanna Steedman
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5497
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 13:38
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2014 13:38

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