Romans in Spain

By John Richardson

Published by John Wiley & Sons (1998)

The Iberian Peninsula was amongst the earliest parts of the Mediterranean world outside Italy to be occupied by Roman military forces, and the Spanish provinces remained part of the western Roman Empire until its collapse in the fifth century AD. This book traces the complex process by which an area, seen initially as a war-zone, was gradually transformed by the actions of the Romans and the reactions of the indigenous inhabitants into an integral part of the Roman world. The roles of the army and its commanders: of those who came to exploit the natural resources: of the towns and cities which developed and flourished in the Spanish provinces: of the imperial cult and the Christian Church are all examined for their contributions to this process. They are seen not only in the local context but also as linked inextricably with the varying fortunes of Rome itself and its empire. Long before the Germanic nation broke through the Pyrenees in the early fifth century, Spain was no longer an imperial possession, but an area in which all the inhabitants regarded themselves as Romans. The history of this long development presents a picture of the effects of imperial expansion not only on those who were subjected to it but also on Rome itself, which was radically transformed by its experience as an imperial power, not least in the westernmost parts of its empire.

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