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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the book Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History. Roman villas have been the focus of scholarship within various geographical and historical contexts, ranging from studies on the "economy of the villa" to works on its cultural aspects, such as the villa's role as a seat for the cultivation of a particular type of Hellenized culture and lifestyle. It is precisely the Roman villa-universe that is the topic of the book, which focuses on the social and economic role of elite villas in Central Italy, an area corresponding to the modern regions of Latium, Tuscany and Umbria. In order to account for villas as a phenomenon of social history, the book have considered them in their different manifestations, approaching the subject from various angles: the economy, art, culture, the idealization and representation of villas, geographic distribution and topography.

Keywords: central Italy; economic history; Roman villas; social history



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