By Guy Bradley
This publication, the 1st full-scale therapy of old Umbria in any language, takes a balanced view of the region's heritage within the first millennium BC, targeting neighborhood activities and motivations up to the impression of outdoor impacts and Roman rules.
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Extra resources for Ancient Umbria: State, Culture, and Identity in Central Italy from the Iron Age to the Augustan Era
To BC (Oxford, ). 38 His points focused on the need to formulate questions and aims of more than just local relevance, to create useful analytical frameworks within which to present the material, and to be aware of the wider context of the town or region under examination. Regional histories should respond to interpretative theories, and this work aspires to several more general historical aims. These are, on one level, to problematize and stimulate thought about the paradigms that govern the way we understand the history of this region, and to some extent all parts of the Roman Empire which went through the process of conquest and Romanization.
Fontaine’s book also examines a particular category of archaeological material, the walls of the ancient cities of Umbria, and his work catalogues and dates existing remains. This is not an easy task, as the material often survives only as exiguous traces and is very difﬁcult to date securely, given that this must be based largely on construction technique and topographic situation. Nevertheless, his analysis is conscientiously executed and, in comparison with earlier studies which were often based on little more than guesswork, sets the study of these structures on an entirely new footing.
In reality, ancient states tended to be dynamic entities; ‘state formation’, which implies an end to the process, was part of an ongoing change. A further methodological consideration is that anthropological work has strongly criticized the notions of social 20 Supported by Claessen and Skalník (The Early State, –) in comparative terms; cf. also the emphasis of Stoddart on Etruscan state formation as ‘not an abrupt discontinuity but a development out of the preceding political landscape’ (‘Divergent Trajectories in Central Italy’, in T.