Universiteit Leiden

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Keys to Rome

Shining a new light on the Roman world

René van Beek, Ton Derks, Co-Auteur: Stefan van Elevelt, Co-Auteur: Mark Driessen
01 January 2014

This richly illustrated edition, which is one of the (publically accessible) products of the VIDI project ' Cultural innovation in a globalising society: Egypt in the Roman world', illuminates the Roman world from a new perspective. It goes beyond stereotypes and entrenched ideas, and shows how diverse the Roman Empire really was. This diversity can only be understood when we study the Roman world in its entirety and in the context of global history. This is achieved by means of seven themes that, combined, provide a comprehensive overview. In order to highlight the local aspect, special attention has been paid to three different areas: the Italian peninsula, Egypt, and our own Low Countries.

Roman influences have left their mark from Egypt up to the Dutch river Rhine. New insights, including those generated by the VIDI project, demonstrate that the Romans were accustomed to take ‘native customs’ back with them as well. The diversity of and interaction between these three regions is illustrated on the basis of objects from the Mediterranean area, Egypt, and the Low Countries. Special attention is paid to the key objects from the collection of the  Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. 

‘Keys to Rome’ presents a kaleidoscopic view of a changing world, and is partly the result of a long-term collaboration of research and education in Leiden between the fields of Ancient History ( F.G. Naerebout), Egyptology ( O.E. Kaper), and Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology ( M.J. Versluys). The book is available in Dutch and English: 

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