Lorena Zanin

Lorena Zanin


I completed my first degree in Classics at the University of Udine (Italy) in 2003. I worked as a teacher in Secondary schools in Italy for more than ten years, before moving to Leeds for my PhD, started in September 2016.

I am an associate member of the Società Friulana di Archeologia.

Research interests

My research focuses not only on social, religious, commercial and admnistrative aspects of the Roman presence in the province, but also on immigration, contacts and cross-cultural interactions. My interest in the history of the Roman empire, includes also the dialogue with other peoples and the creation of new provincial identities.

My research entitled ‘ The role of Aquileia in the process of creating contacts and developing cultural interactions between Rome and the region of Noricum (181 BC- AD 235)’ analyses the driving aspects which allowed the acculturation processes of the territory of Noricum after Aquileia’s foundation (181 BC). Acculturation is usually viewed as resulting from the relationship between the Roman state and its provinces, but this approach may fail to recognise the role played by intermediaries, and particularly a province's nearest neighbours. This research aims to investigate and identify the ‘Aquileian’ factors which led to a diffusion of the Roman culture in Noricum. In fact, Aquileia was not only the center of the trade and the post for collecting taxes, but also in a crucial position for both land and marine routes. 

This research covers different aspects of the Roman life: trade, religion, art, administration of the territory and its resources, but most of all, people. People that moved from the Adriatic colony in order to do their business and get involved in the local society. In this way the acculturation was not merely one way, from Roman to non-Roman, but interaction was always possible. 

Aquileia, therefore represents, a highly significant case study to evaluate the relationships of Rome with the different reality of Noricum: this has brought not only to a peaceful annexation but also to an acceptance and a diffusion of the Roman culture and society, and at the same time, to a coexistence with the lifestyle of the indigenous community.