The first two centuries AD are conventionally thought of as the "golden age" of the Roman Empire, yet Italy in this period has often been seen as being in a state of decline and even crisis. This book investigates the relationships between city and countryside in Italy in the early Empire, using evidence from literary texts and inscriptions, and the wealth of data derived from archaeological field surveys over recent years. Looking at individual towns and regions as well as at the broader picture, and stressing the diversity of situations across Italy, John R. Patterson examines how changing patterns of building and benefaction in the cities were related to developments in the country, and underlines the resourcefulness of the cities, both large and small, in seeking to maintain and develop their civic traditions.
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