Lekha Shupeck

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IMG_4367PhD Candidate

Major Field: Ancient History
 Richard J. A. Talbert


BA Swarthmore College, with High Honors
MA Classics, Duke University
JD Duke University School of Law

Research Interests

“My dissertation, “Patrocinium Orbis Terrae: Roman Self-Image and Foreign Relations,” explores Roman identity and values surrounding interactions with foreigners in order to better understand Roman foreign relations during the early period of imperial expansion in the Second Century B.C.E. My work offers a counter-balance to many current narratives of Roman expansion which center on realism and rationalism. Instead, I seek to see the effects which traditional Roman social and religious values had upon Rome’s interactions with the larger Mediterranean world in this period. In designing my research strategy I chose to focus on official Roman interactions with foreigners which occurred outside the context of war and conquest. These interactions are often overlooked by other scholars. This unique study allowed me to see how the Romans used foreign relations to perform and create a particular self-identity. This identity both signaled their ethical persona to potential enemies and allies, and reinforced Roman social cohesion by enacting traditional Roman cultural values.”


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