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More in this section Richard Alstonpages

Research Projects

I have a number of research projects on-going or under development

1. Rome's Revolution

This project is in two parts. The first part involves a new history of the political events of the fall of the Roman Republic and the reign of Augustus, which was published in 2015. The planned book demonstrates that the transition from Republic to Empire was a revolution and a revolution in the conventional sense of a transfer of power between social groups. This project seeks to embed into the narrative history of this period, the theories of political and economic transformation.The second part of the project relates to the development of the political economy of Roman Italy and currently consists of a series of studies of economic and geographical issues. These include discussions of

  • Income distribution and social dependency in early Rome
  • Population dynamics and family formation from Republic to Empire
  • The development of the villa economy
  • Economic dependency and the soldiery
  • City, Livelihood, and Politics in Rome
  • The Urbs in Roman Italy
  • The Augustan Revolution

This second part is an ambitious attempt to rethink the economic geography of Roman Italy from the economic and geographical models used to understand Italian political economy to the ideologies of politics in Rome itself. 

2. Three Capital Cities: Classicism and Nation Building in London, Athens and Rome in the Nineteenth Century

This project asks the question why did the cities of modernity adopt Classizing architecture as their dominant style. The project focuses on the nineteenth century and progresses through three case studies, London c. 1800 - c.1830; Athens c. 1830 - 1846; Rome, c. 1860 - 1880. the lens of urban development is used to discussed the influence of Classicism on debates on the nation, class, identity, cultural value and cultural memory. 

3. Rethinking Imperial Politics

This project examines the way in which Roman political ideas were rethought in the early imperial period and emerged in new ways. The project examines notions such as sovereignty and authority, democracy and freedom through a consideration of ancient texts and modern political philosophy. It is thus a work which combines an interest in the Augustan and imperial ages with their reception in the modern period. 


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