The first lecture of 2017/2018's Dalrymple Lecture Series will begin with Lecture One – Setting the scene: provincia Sicilia at 6.30pm on Monday, November 13, 2017, in the Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, University of Glasgow (corner of Gibson Street and University Avenue). Lectures are free to attend and open to members and non-members of Glasgow Archaeological Society alike.
For more information about the Dalrymple Lectures and an overview of this year's series with Professor Roger Wilson of the University of British Columbia, please click here.
Sicily became a Roman province in 241 BC and remained one until the Byzantine conquest of the island in AD 535. This introductory lecture will assess the evolving character of the island under Roman rule, so far as it is known from archaeological evidence. Changes in urban structure saw many of the hill-top towns in the interior, still flourishing under the Roman Republic, decline under the Empire, while the coastal cities expanded and flourished, as shown by impressive urban building projects. In the countryside agro-towns and village settlements sprang up in place of the old hill towns, and were joined by numerous farms and villas. The latter reached their apogee in the fourth and fifth centuries AD, when Sicily once more became an important grain supplier for Italy. We will also explore Sicily’s place in the maritime trade networks of the Roman world, including evidence for both Sicilian exports and imports, and the role of inscriptions as a monitor of the use of both Greek and Latin (and to a lesser extent Punic) in what Apuleius refers to in the second century AD as a trilingual island.
R. J. A. Wilson is Director of the Centre for the Study of Ancient Sicily at the University of British Columbia. He has also been Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire at UBC, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, and Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin. Recipient of the Killam Prize at UBC for his contributions to research, he is the author or editor of ten books and over 140 papers. He has held visiting positions at the University of Bonn, McMaster University, the British School of Rome and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, and has been Norton Lecturer of the Archaeological Institute of America. His research concerns mainly the Roman archaeology of the central Mediterranean, with a special emphasis on Sicily.