The Barbarians Speak: How the Conquered Peoples Shaped Roman Europe
The recent discovery of large pre-Roman settlements throughout central and western Europe has only begun to show just how complex native European societies were before the conquest. Remnants of walls, bone fragments, pottery, jewelry, and coins tell much about such activities as farming, trade, and religious ritual in their communities; objects found at gravesites shed light on the richly varied lives of individuals. Wells explains that the presence--or absence--of Roman influence among these artifacts reveals a range of attitudes toward Rome at particular times, from enthusiastic acceptance among urban elites to creative resistance among rural inhabitants. In fascinating detail, Wells shows that these societies did grow more cosmopolitan under Roman occupation, but that the people were much more than passive beneficiaries; in many cases they helped determine the outcomes of Roman military and political initiatives. This book is at once a provocative, alternative reading of Roman history and a catalyst for overturning long-standing assumptions about nonliterate and indigenous societies.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - thcson - LibraryThing
The only thing that's really wrong with this book is the misleading title and back cover blurb. Supposedly it "re-creates the story of Europe's indigenous people" in Roman times and tells us "how the ... Read full review
The barbarians speak: how the conquered peoples shaped Roman EuropeUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Traditionally, the indigenous peoples of temperate Europe with whom the Romans came in contact--that is, the Celts and the Germans--have been considered barbarians. Classical accounts of these peoples ... Read full review