Thursday, January 19, 2006

Dr. John Patterson

"John Patterson, Lecturer on Ancient History at the University of Cambridge, is a Roman historian who works extensively with the archaeology and material culture of Roman Italy. He is a well-known specialist in the history of the city of Rome (from brick stamps to civic rituals, from amphitheatres to the political arena) ? as well as an expert in the countryside of Roman Italy and its social and economic changes over the imperial period. He has reviewed recent work on both topics in survey articles for the Journal of Roman Studies."

His recent book Political Life in the City of Rome is published by Bristol Classical Press and he is currently working on a city-country relations in Italy in the imperial period.
Dr. Patterson is also studying th epigraphy of the Tiber River Valley as a participant in the Tiber Valley Project.

"Launched in 1997, the Tiber Valley Project involves scholars from twelve British Universities as well as a large number of Italian scholars. The study area centres on the stretch of the middle Tiber between Rome and the Umbrian border town of Otricoli.

This is one of the most intensively studied areas in the whole Mediterranean. Nevertheless, studies so far have tended to concentrate on one or the other side of the river, and no one study has ever attempted to study the valley as a historical entity through time. The aim therefore is to examine the middle Tiber Valley as the hinterland of Rome, looking at the impact of Rome's development on the settlement history, economy and culture of the river valley over two millennia, from 1000 BC to AD 1000.

Over the last five years, a team of researchers at the BSR have been collecting, integrating and reanalysing this data to relate the historical development of Rome to the changes in the settlement, economy and society of the valley from the Bronze Age to the Medieval period. Particular focus has fallen on: (1) the integration of diverse valley communities (Etruscans and Faliscans on the west bank; Sabines and Latins on the east bank) under Rome's progressive expansion as a regional power and then imperial power and (2) the political, social and economic fragmentation which followed the collapse of the Roman Empire in the late antique and early medieval periods when the valley was the centre of a complex interplay of power between Roman-Byzantines, Lombards, Carolingians and the increasingly powerful Papacy and Church."