Friday, June 08, 2018

Review of Zissos (ed.), A Companion to the Flavian Age of Imperial Rome

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Andrew Zissos (ed.), A Companion to the Flavian Age of Imperial Rome. Blackwell companions to the ancient world. Chichester; Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell, 2016. Pp. xxi, 602. ISBN 9781444336009. $195.00. Reviewed by Lorenza Bennardo, University of Toronto (
Due to their historical and cultural density, the 27 years between 69 C.E. and Domitian’s assassination (96 C.E.) have claimed increasing scholarly attention in recent decades. However, precisely because the dynasty founded by Vespasian only ruled for a relatively short period, the very concept of a clearly defined (and clearly definable) “Flavian age” can be legitimately questioned. The volume edited by Zissos successfully demonstrates not only that the idea of a “Flavian age” is historically and culturally viable, but also that this age represents a crucial phase in the longer continuum of the early imperial history of Rome. Moreover, while it is true that our knowledge of Flavian Rome mainly derives from contemporary literary sources, this companion has the merit of moving beyond the focus on Flavian literature to “examine the Flavian age in a broader and more inclusive sense” (p. 2). Overall, the volume provides us with the economic, political, religious and cultural coordinates of a complex multicultural world, where the negotiation of racial identities plays an important role and where a new balance in the relationship between center and periphery begins to emerge.

There is a chapter on Flavian Judea. And Josephus comes up as well.

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