Clifford Ando: C4E Public Lecture on “Pax Romana: Peace, Pacification, and the Ethics of Empire” [April 4, 2017]

Contemporary scholarship tends to assimilate empires to one another as kindred in form, and likewise construes the experience of conquest and subjection in light of supposedly universal ideologies of autonomy and rebellion. However, the ancient Mediterranean in general—and Rome in particular—should be differentiated from such claims. Roman theory and practice in governing conquered populations must be understood as arising in a situation of weak state power. This has profound implications for how they understood the ethics of empire.