Scientific report 2016


  1. The material culture consumption in the Roman Empire has been approached in several recent works, which posit that the extension of the imperial control provided new opportunities for indigenous populations. A new developing approach is to analyze the idea of Empire as a “consumer culture” in Rome, Italy and the provinces. The magnitude and character of imperial economy are disputable. The existence of a common model on which the economic unity of the Roman world lays its foundations is limited by certain characteristics, such as: the geographic units and specific cultural traditions; the existence of different semantics, depending on the production item and the agents involved in both production and distribution; the chronological variability and the historical changes that influence industry and commerce, as well as the diversity of production systems.
  2. From a numismatic perspective, the purpose was to study the monetary discoveries within civilian and military sites, as a viable indicator of the existence and functioning of Roman economy, in various parts of the Empire. Our investigation focused on the provinces of Dacia and Moesia Inferior, analyzed in the context of the Roman world. We have managed to identify and define various patterns of monetary discoveries for the Roman sites within the provinces of Dacia and Moesia Inferior. The results obtained were compared to similar data within a larger area, which comprises the Rhenish and Danubian provinces, Hispania, Italy and eastern Roman territories (especially in the Asia Minor area). We mention that, in all these cases used for comparison, the investigation was conducted using monetary samples from representative sites/groups of sites. Another aspect of research was represented by the influence of Rome in Barbaricum, through the numismatic material. As a study case, we took into account the monetary finds within the areas situated in the vicinity of the Dacian-Moesian limes, situated in the hinterland of the two provinces. We managed to highlight two different situations.
  3. The bilingual epigraphic material discovered in Moesia Inferior reflects, to a certain extent, the complexity degree of bilingualism in the communities living here. The Greco-Latin and Latin-Greek interferences manifested themselves at multiple levels: phonetic, morphologic, lexical and formula-related. At lexical level, the most interesting situation is provided by the presence of Latinisms within Greek inscriptions. Generally, it can be posited that Latinisms illustrate and nuance certain aspects of the historical contacts between Greeks and Romans, at the level of both daily life (commercial terms, measurement units, etc), and – a very important matter – the institutions of Roman State implemented in Greek colonies or cities with Greek inhabitants as majority, founded by Trajan. This type of linguistic behaviour – by adopting and adapting Latin lexemes in the Greek language and through loan translations – reflects historically the attitude of accepting the Roman realities tale quale. Concerning Dacia and Hispania, numerous Vulgar Latin particularities were pinpointed, at both morphologic and lexical level.
  4. Roman army was at the same time homogenous and heterogeneous, made up by individuals with different ethnical and social backgrounds, soldiers and officers, all united under the same command. The consumption of certain foods must be analyzed from this perspective: it did not represent an option or a matter of cultural choice. Whereas units ensured their own supply, as shown by archaeological sources, supplies were at least supervised, if not controlled by the State. Supplying contracts could be concluded with various providers, but the product per se was not even by far a matter of free or neutral option. The archaeological evidence found in Britannia shows that the supply was ensured by both official “companies” and private entrepreneurs. The strictly specialized supply system of the army did not represent the simple and direct answer to market demand.
  5. We have also studied the effects of Romanization and we focused on the influence of indigenous traditions upon cult and religion in the Roman Empire. In the Roman provinces that we investigated, we have noticed – although regional aspects are obvious – a tendency to develop an “imperial religion”, according to the concept of “Reichsreligion”. In this respect, we can pinpoint an embedding to indigenous aspects in the Roman pantheon. religion – especially “Reichsreligion” – is an instrument of cohesion and Romanization, though it may not have been strategically designed as such, because “Reichsreligion”, too, developed in the cultic-religious context marked by praxis, not by the theory or “religious policy” adopted along with a master plan. Only the imperial religion is a common denominator that shows, nonetheless, a certain political strategy of integration through religion. However, beyond cultic dedication and “religion” in the modern Christian view of “faith”, the imperial cult was a way of communicating and of showing one’s personal fides and the fides of the group in relation to imperial values. The fact that indigenous traditions – imported in the Empire through soldiers of the auxiliary troops and through native population during the Romanization process – found their place in this permissive polytheistic Roman system and that Romans themselves (provincial elites included) helped integrating new cults by attending them ultimately shows the flexibility of Roman society. Indeed, there was an ongoing modification of their own Romanitas concepts within an Empire marked more by change than by conservation even in terms of religion.
  6. During this year the member of the project participated at various archaeological researches: systematic archaeological researches (L. Munteanu, A. Rubel – Slava Rusă, Tulcea county), F. Matei-Popescu (Jidova, Argeș county; Voinești, Argeș county; Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Mehedinți county); preventive archaeological researches (L. Munteanu – Iași town and country; I. Dumitrache – Bacău, town and country) and surface archaeological researches (L. Munteanu – Strunga and Muncelu de Sus, Iași county; Dragomirești, Gârcina, Hârtop, Ruginoasa, Tazlău, Neamț county; Slava Cercheză, Tulcea county).
  7. We participate at geomagnetic investigations in the sites of Scânteia and Struga, Iași county and Pâncești-Răcătău, Bacău county, together with prof. dr. Carsten and Doris Mischka, from the Friedrich-Alexander-UniversitätErlangen-Nürnberg.


            Within the project there were organized two scientific meetings:

  • Arheologia ieşeană contemporană între regionalizare, deschidere naţională şi perspectivă europeană, Institute of Archaeology, Iași, 24.03.2016 – They were discussed the main problems of the archeology from Iași in the regional, national and international context.
  • Round Table. Grenzerfahrung und Erfahrungsgrenzen. Zur Archäologie und Geschichte von Interaktion in der europäischen Frühgeschichte, Frankfurt am Main, 13-15.09.2016 – In this international scientific meeting, which was organized with the Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Frankfurt am Main, were brought significant contributions in the study of the relations between the Roman world and the Barbaricum (near the Rhine and Danube limes).

            Project members have completed their documentation abroad, by research visits in the libraries of Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts and Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften (Goethe-Universität) (Alexander Rubel, Lucian Munteanu, Roxana-Gabriela Curcă, Iulia Dumitrache), Universität Konstanz (Alexander Rubel), Cabinet des Médailles de la Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, Brussels (Lucian Munteanu), Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Polish Academy (Warsaw and Krakow) (L. Munteanu).