Italica: Cultural Innovation in the Hadrianic Empire

Main researcher: Juan Manuel Cortés Copete
Home institution: Pablo de Olavide University (Seville)

The Network of Excellence Italica: Cultural Innovation in Hadrian’s Empire (HAR2016-81827-REDT) is the resulting collaboration project between six coordinated R&D projects sponsored by MINECO, whose core purpose is the realisation of the enormous potential of Italica, today an Archaeological Site. In scientific-interest terms, it has the potential to be as significant as Hadrian’s Athens or any of the big East-Roman cities which underwent transformations due to the innovative processes incited by this Emperor.

Italica was a place appointed by Hadrian for political and cultural innovation. As in other places, this Emperor’s goal was to consolidate a new, ecumenic Imperial culture, able to integrate elements that came from the most different regions of the Empire. All those elements are especially visible in Italica, which can be seen as a perfect example of the different sides of Hadrianic innovation.

Our main purpose is to achieve a new rate for Italica, letting the current Archaeological Site overcome its local and regional delimitations, and getting to know it as an archetype of the Hadrianic project. For this, our work will focus on creating and disseminating the required academic tools to conceive a new interpretation for Italica, one which considers this Roman city a paradigm of the innovative action of Emperor Hadrian and of a new cultural identity in the Empire.