Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in History



Major Advisor

Katherine V. Huntley, Ph.D.


Eric Hadley, Ph.D.


Lee Ann Turner, Ph.D.


Up until now Marsian cultural identity has been approached from an old-fashioned theoretical angle of autoromanizazzione (“self-Romanization” or “emulation”). This perspective was one response to the unsatisfactory explanation of the previous paradigm (“Romanization”) to assess the incorporation faced by pre-Roman people. Nonetheless, current scholars have found the “self-Romanization” approach untenable. This view changes the scope of the agency from Roman to Native in the assimilation process of the Italians in the Roman culture, turning the whole influence into the Native elites, but all of it has an irremediable ending of exactly the same cultural convergence. Besides, the concept is still a top-bottom approach and the knowledge of the final outcome of the process obscures our judgment, taking for granted cultural behaviors as Roman when those are not necessarily Romans or vice versa.

This work aims to criticize the modern approach of the 1970s epistemology reassessing the Marsian identity in a new light reconsidering the degree of the Roman agency, as it was more than it was previously thought. Nonetheless, the high degree of the Native agency in the structuration of the Marsian ethnicity cannot be neglected, because Marsian identity was a malleable ethnic concept to channel collective supralocal efforts by indigenous elites. The work offers a new way of understanding the Marsian culture refracted through the imperialistic lens of Roman authors.