Placing Individuals: Pompeian Epigraphy in Context
journal contributionposted on 16.12.2016, 09:59 by Penelope M. Allison
In both popular and scholarly literature, Pompeii is viewed as a typical Roman town reflecting the social and cultural conditions of the capital, a perception now so embedded in Pompeian studies that it is often assumed to be part of the known facts. This paper questions that perception and explores alternative readings for broadening our approaches to Pompeian society through examination of the material contexts of the epigraphical texts from Pompeii. In particular, it investigates how the names of individual Pompeians have been used to provide evidence on Pompeian households and on the interrelationships and statuses of their members, in four particular houses. It considers the contribution of Greek-dominated Magna Graecia to the development of this town and its inhabitants. It concludes that more contextualised investigations of the material evidence from Pompeii can lead to more informed approaches to its social and cultural relationships, and those between this region, the Roman capital, and the wider Mediterranean region in the first century AD.