The Social World of Roman Religions
My intellectual interests are driven by a strong desire to interrogate the social history of Roman Republican, Imperial and Late Roman religions. My research draws upon archaeological, anthropological, and sociological approaches to religion, as well as recent research on social memory, landscape, and the construction of identity, charting the transformations and economic changes that characterized Rome, Italy and the Western provinces during the imperial and late Roman periods. Current avenues of interest range from the religious displays in the topography of Rome to the preservation of statues in the Late Antique city.
Much of my research also looks at the "marketplace" of Rome's religions over the longue duree. By treating temples, synagogue, and churches as agents of change in an urban palimpsest of temples and shrines, for example, I was able to show how individuals worked within the city to attract attention, support, and patronage for their communities at Ostia Antica. I also incorporate epigraphic material, as well as smaller objects like lamps, glassware, and ivory, to reconstruct a more intimate image of Roman daily life--exploring the social, cultural and visual continuities that bind the Roman "Age of Augustus" to the late Roman "World of Augustine."