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Title: Romanization and the body : changing identities in the Later Iron Age and Early Roman period in the territory of the Trinovantes and Catuvellauni
Author: Carr, G.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
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In this thesis I examine and follow the change in identity of two neighbouring but rival Iron Age tribal groups, the anti-Roman Trinovantes of Essex and the pro-Roman Catuvellauni of Hertfordshire, as they underwent 'Romanization' and entered the early Roman period. I suggest that the change in tribal and personal identity was reflected in changing attitudes to the human body and, thus, personal appearance. I also examine whether the archaeological record backs up to the traditionally accepted political stance of these people. This stance is suggested by the tribal history, which was written on the basis of numismatic evidence coupled with the classical texts. I argue that what has previously been termed 'Romanization' can be better understood as a process whereby groups of people from different areas made different cultural choices from the same repertoire of material culture to structure their ethnic identities, whether tribal, local, or individual. Sometimes this choice of artefacts was deliberately in opposition to their neighbours and rivals. In cases where the choice of identity was deliberately native well into the Roman period, I have asked whether this was due to what I term 'covert but active' resistance, a form of silent rebellion against the Romans. Alternatively, it may have been due to a retention of identity for its own sake because tribal identity was still an important concept to the indigenous population after the Conquest. I conclude by arguing that each group of people would have understood these artefacts in different ways, imbued them with different meanings according to who they were and what identities they wanted to express, and incorporated them into pre-existing native social practices. As these practices would have had their roots in the later Iron Age, I conclude that there was no 'Romanization of the body' as such. People did not necessarily use these artefacts to 'become Roman'; their use did not represent any radically new lifestyle.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available