Alcohol beverages and resistance to Roman imperialism in Dalmatia

Charles Barnett

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As Greco-Roman culture spread across Europe during the later Iron Age, being reshaped and adjusted to Roman imperial discourse, wine and other Mediterranean cultural influences were adopted by many indigenous small-scale societies. Certain groups were resistant to such cultural markers, including the Delmatae, who inhabited the hinterland of Dalmatia, modern day Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Archaeological evidence shows a distinct lack of Mediterranean imports, including vessels associated with the trade and consumption of wine in areas associated with the Delmatae, while their indigenous neighbors readily adopted them into local cultural templates. Critically approaching and building upon the thesis of Dzino, that the newly formed Delmataean identity incorporated a strong anti-Mediterranean sentiment, this paper proposes that 'economies of power' were a significant factor in the construction of local group identities, and in the shaping of dynamic attitudes towards foreign imports, from positive desire to conscious rejection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-33
Number of pages21
JournalCroatian studies review
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Dalmatia
  • Roman imperialism
  • alcohol consumption


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