Introduction: Senses of empire.

Betts, Eleanor (2017). Introduction: Senses of empire. In: Betts, Eleanor ed. Senses of the Empire: Multisensory Approaches to Roman Culture. London: Routledge, pp. 1–12.

URL: https://www.routledge.com/Senses-of-the-Empire-Mul...

Abstract

This introduction provides an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on the application of new methods and theoretical approaches to the Roman empire's material culture and historical sources, which are influenced by the socio-anthropological approaches in Howes' series and by sensory archaeologies. The multisensory agency, not only of the human body but also of animals, objects, architecture, spaces, places and landscapes, is being recognised and explored. The book explores the embodied experience of interacting with a specific type of artifact. It considers a signet ring as both a personal object worn upon the body and also a very public symbol of its wearer's status, entwined with their identity and sense of self. The book also considers how a sensory approach to studying these objects can offer a deeper understanding of their function in society, and what they meant to the individuals who owned them.

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