Inscriptions and Identity

Hope, Valerie (2014). Inscriptions and Identity. In: Millet, Martin; Revell, Louise and Moore, Alison eds. The Oxford Handbook of Roman Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697731.013.018

Abstract

The inscriptions of Roman Britain are few in number; in terms of its epigraphy Britain could be seen as the poor relation of the Roman Empire. Nevertheless the surviving inscriptions are a varied and exciting resource. This chapter explores how inscriptions were used in the province—where they were found, who set them up, and what roles the inscriptions performed. It considers how inscriptions communicated and the importance of evaluating wider monumental, locational, and chronological contexts. It also addresses why Britons did not take up the ‘epigraphic habit’ in great numbers, highlighting that this makes those inscriptions that were produced all the more interesting in what they reveal about communication, communities, and identities.

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