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16 - Reading Roman Port Societies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 October 2020

Pascal Arnaud
Université Lumière Lyon II
Simon Keay
University of Southampton
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The excellent conference on which this volume has been based, ‘Roman Port Societies through the Evidence of Inscriptions’, made all of the participants reflect afresh on many fundamental questions about how this medium illustrates the surprisingly elusive issue of what kinds of societies were characteristic of Roman harbour settlements. These concluding remarks are intended to address some of these. Two very basic questions about the medium stood out: how – and how far – do surviving inscriptions actually reflect ancient social history in the first place; and (in particular) does the level of diversity in the epigraphic record mirror actual variety across time and space in the Roman world?2 Roman ports make rather good laboratory specimens for such enquiries. The papers at the conference, in accordance with the aims of the Portuslimen project, addressed a good spread of ports, all, except Delos and Ephesos, from the western basin of the Mediterranean, principally Aquileia, Arelate, Hispalis, Lugdunum, Narbo, Narona, Ostia/Portus and Puteoli.

Roman Port Societies
The Evidence of Inscriptions
, pp. 425 - 443
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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