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Roman Gentrification

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In this study, gentrification concepts have been used as a heuristic device to analyse urban socio-economic changes. The aim of this book has been to describe the transformation process from a pre-Roman (Etruscan, Latin, Oscan, Greek and Celtic context) to the Early Imperial period, with a focus on towns. After describing the most important gentrification theories, these concepts will be applied to the Roman towns on the Italian peninsula, using an explanatory model, which helped to filter the evidence and provided a special lens for looking at structures and changes in town and country. The (Augustan) regions that have been discussed were Etruria, Latium (excluding Rome), Campania, Magna Graecia, and the provinces that make up the North of the Italian peninsula.

The focus has been on the five main elements of Roman gentrification: (1) the presence of a sizeable group of affluent people, (2) a functioning property market, (3) a shift in employment and diversification of professions, (4) a professionalisation of trades and crafts, (5) the locational preferences of the elite and their dependents and their investment in domestic and public architecture (urban renewal), public display and forms of entertainment. These five prerequisites determined the selection of textual and archaeological evidence that have been used in the case study in chapters. Special attention will be given to describe the typical Late Republican/Early Imperial Roman town vis-à-vis the towns of the Archaic/Classical Greek heartland, its physical dimensions, the size and distribution of its population over town and country, as well as identifying the main occupations of the urban population.

Published: Nov 1, 2025

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