What is it about?
Naples occupied an important position in Roman Italy. It was a key Roman ally in Campania and from the 2nd century BC, it was also an important cultural centre, whose Greek past was instrumental in shaping its relationship with Rome, and in particular with the increasingly Philhellene Roman elite. Despite the centrality of Hellenism to the later development of Naples and to its interactions with Rome, the its cultural development was very complex. By the time of the Roman conquest, it was not an entirely Greek city, but one which included many Campanians and other ethnic groups amongst the population. Nevertheless, it successfully presented itself as having a Greek identity, and capitalised on the Roman interest in Hellenism to established a uniquely privileged relationship with Rome. The ethnic and cultural diversity of the city also provides an opportunity to explore how different levels of group identity developed and interacted.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Kathryn Lomas