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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - All Roads Lead to Rome - But Where Did They Come From? Transport networks, interaction and the emergence of cities in ancient Italy

22nd January 2018, 17:30 to 18:30, Joachim Room, College of St Hild and St Bede, Dr Francesca Fulminante (University of Roma Tre)

What is an ancient city? When does a settlement become a city? Why do some cities prevail over others and why do they eventually decline? These are much debated questions, especially with reference to central Italy and to Rome in particular. This lecture discusses transportation networks as a means of analysing the interaction between the cities of central Italy from the Final Bronze Age to the Archaic Period in order to offer a novel perspective on this debate.

Physical connectivity is essential for the inter-settlement cooperative processes - such as information exchange, trade and defence - that influence the development of past societies and their growing complexity (e.g. urbanization). So far, however transportation routes have not been given sufficient attention with reference to debates around early urbanism. The establishment of terrestrial routes, in particular, requires a certain level of cooperation. In addition, since their maintenance requires significant resources, they are affected by competing interests. In this way, transportation infrastructure can be regarded as a product of social relations and of the interactions between societies and environment.

In order to understand better the emerging Latin and Etruscan urban polities and the mechanisms underlying their variable success, this lecture analyses the fluvial and terrestrial communication systems of these two regions by using a novel Network Science approach. The results demonstrate how the Latin and the Etruscan polities emerged and functioned, and also suggest potentially why, in the end. Rome prevailed over its rivals.

This lecture is free and open to all.

Details about Dr Francesca Fulminante

Directions to Joachim Room, College of St Hild & St Bede

Map - College of St Hild & St Bede is denoted as building No. 30

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.