Reinventing tenacious anchors: Romulus in the cultural memory of the early and late Roman Empire
[S.l.] : [S.n.]
InProceedings of Anchoring Innovation in Antiquity
Anchoring Innovation in Antiquity
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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Proceedings of Anchoring Innovation in Antiquity
SubjectEurope and its Worlds before 1800; The Ancient World
We aim to show how the concept of cultural memory (central to several ongoing research projects within Dutch classical studies) can offer a valuable contribution to the method of anchoring innovation. In antiquity, cultural memory does not only serve as a passive recipient of past events: rather, it influences actions of individuals and groups in the present, by anchoring present and prospective events and transformations in a coherent whole of past and present. The 'soggy' and flexible nature of cultural memory, we argue, makes it particularly fertile ground for anchoring. Our hypothesis is that the tenacious aspect of Roman cultural memory can account for the longevity and success of an anchoring device, even if that device is applied to different ends or in conflicting contexts. The omnipresence of such tenacious anchors in Roman memory forces every potential heir to the Roman legacy to engage with them. Romulus is one of these tenacious anchors. His role in the foundation of Rome figures prominently in two crucial periods of transformation in Roman history. Drawing on theories of cultural memory, invented traditions, antiquarianism and intentional history, we hope to show briefly how Rome in general, and recourses to her distant origins in particular, continued to function as important anchors for political innovations over the course of six centuries.
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