Rome stands today for an empire and for a city. The essays gathered in this volume explore some of the many ways in which the two were interwoven. Rome was fed, beautified and enriched by empire just as it was swollen, polluted, infected and occupied by it. Empire was paraded in the streets of Rome, and exhibited in the city's buildings. Empire also made the city ineradicably foreign, polyglot, an alien capital, and a focus for un-Roman activities. The city was where the Roman cosmos was most concentrated, and so was most contested. Deploying a range of methodologies on materials ranging from Egyptian obelisks to human skeletal remains, via Christian art and Latin poetry, the contributors to this volume weave a series of pathways through the world-city, exploring the different kinds of centrality Rome had in the empire. The result is a startlingly original picture of both empire and city.
Catharine Edwards is Lecturer in Ancient History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her previous books include Writing Rome: Textual Approaches to the City (1996; HB 0521 550807; PB 0521 559529). Greg Woolf is Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews. His previous books include Becoming Roman: The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul (1998 HB 0521 414458; 2000 PB 0521 789826).