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Ancient World Seminar: Jeremia Pelgrom (Groningen), “The Renaissance of Roman Colonial Utopia”

Wanneer:do 28-03-2019 16:15 - 17:30
Waar:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (Oude Boteringestraat 38), Room 130
Lecture Jeremia Pelgrom
Lecture Jeremia Pelgrom

*Note: the date and place has changed! This Ancient World Seminar will take place on Thursday 28 March in Room 130 (same building, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies)


This paper explores the revival of Roman colonial ideals and practices in Early Modern Europe. The paper aims to show how contending interpretations of the Roman colonial model have shaped dominant views and practices of colonization between the late sixteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and vice versa. The paper illustrates how the Roman colony transformed from a strategic bulwark of empire into a utopian emancipatory and well-ordered settlement where the impoverished plebs could be converted into valuable soldier-citizens. I shall argue that the meticulous legal studies of the Italian humanist scholar Carlo Sigonio (1520-1584) strongly contributed to this metamorphosis of the Roman colonial model.

About the speaker

Jeremia Pelgrom is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. His research focuses on Roman Republican colonialism and imperialism, Roman rural history and Hellenistic Italy. He has written a PhD thesis titled Colonial Landscapes. Demography, Settlement Organization and Impact of Colonies founded by Rome (Leiden 2012) and continued his research on early Roman colonization in the context of the Early Roman Colonization project of which he was co-director (together with Tesse Stek) and which was funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). From 2012 to 2018 he was the Director of Ancient Studies of the Royal Netherland Academy in Rome from where he also co-directed the Mapping the via Appia project (with Stephan Mols and Eric Moormann), also funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).