During the period between the end of the Hannibalic War and Octavian's decisive victory in the battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Italian peninsula gradually evolved as the heartland of the Roman Empire as it was expanding across the Mediterranean. The international team of contributors to this book elucidates different aspects of the social, cultural and political tensions that erupted as part of this process, and which more than once threatened the very existence of the Roman Republic as an imperial power. Central themes include the relationship between Rome and the Italians as unequal partners; the visual and architectural representation of these dynamics; the place of Italy within Roman concepts of imperial rule; and the gradual, contested transformation of the allied polities into regional communities of Roman citizens.
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