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Italian unification and the 'romanisation' of Italy


Admission requirements

Entry test.


During the past twenty years the concept of ‘romanisation’ and the political, social, economic and cultural effects of the imposition of Roman on the provinces have been intensely debated. By contrast, little systematic research has been done on cultural interaction in republican Italy. It is generally known, for instance, that the Roman founded large numbers of colonies throughout Italy. But to what extent were local societies affected by this. Indeed, do we really know what happened to the indigenous population. A closely related question is whether the incorporation of the entire free population of Italy south of the river Po into the Roman citizen body (90-89 BC) was preceded by a process of cultural convergence. Are there any signs that the autonomous ‘allies’ of Rome clung to their old cultural habits. When did languages such as Etruscan, Oscan and Venetan begin to decline? And when, if ever, did the indigenous inhabitants of Italy adopt a Roman identity? The participants in the course will be invited to look at developments in a particular region of sub-region, such as Etruria, Cisalpine Gaul, Umbria, Lucania, Magna Graecia or Apulia, or at general developments affecting multiple regions, such as colonization, migration and processes of political, military and economic integration.

Course objectives

Enhanced performance in the following areas: research skills, composition skills, ability to evaluate the findings of other researchers.


See here.

Mode of instruction

Research seminar.

Assessment method

Entry test; essay of c. 20 pages.



Reading list

H. Mouritsen, Italian unification. A study in ancient and modern historiography (London 1998).


via uSis.

Contact information

E-mail: Prof.dr. L. de Ligt