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Rens Tacoma wins Research Prize Italian Studies Working Group

Associate professor Rens Tacoma has won the 2021 Research Prize for Historical Sciences. The prize is awarded annually by the Italy Studies Working Group for the best scholarly publication in the field of Italy Studies in Dutch or Flemish academia.

Tacoma received the prize for his book Roman political culture: Seven Studies of the Senate and City Councils of Italy from the First to the Sixth Century A.D. (Oxford University Press 2020). 'I am extremely happy with the prize, especially as it came completely unexpectedly! I think the political culture of the Roman imperial period has enormous potential as a field of research, and apparently the jury thought the same,' he says. 'I am proud to have written the book under my own steam, in a relatively short time. The sabbatical I received from the Institute of History and the research facilities at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome helped me enormously.'

Attached to the prize is a research grant of 1,000 euros. Tacoma is not yet sure what he will do with the money. 'I’m putting the finishing touches to a new monograph, together with researcher Rolf Tybout, on Greek funerary epigrams. I’m also setting up a project on Roman fake news which looks at the manipulated and forged documents that circulated in the Roman world. I have several smaller and larger projects on both topics, some with students, others with colleagues. I expect I’ll use the prize money for something related to that.'

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