Ethnic Identity and Imperial Power (2004)
The Batavians in the Early Roman Empire
in: Amsterdam Archaeological Studies
This study explores the theme of Batavian ethnicity and ethnogenesis in the context of the Early Roman Empire, starting with the current view of ethnicity as a culturally determined, subjective construct shaped through interaction with an ethnic 'other'. The study analyses literary, epigraphic and archaeological sources relating to the Batavian image and self-image against the background of the specific integration of the Batavian community into the Roman world. The Batavian society was exploited by the Roman authorities for the recruitment of auxiliary soldiers. As a result it developed into a full-blown military community. The study's main conclusion is that Rome exerted a profound influence on the formation of the Batavians both as a political entity and as an ethnic group. The combination of an explicit theoretical framework and a clear presentation of empirical data makes this book an indispensable work for all those interested in ethnicity and ethnogenesis in the context of the Roman Empire.