Rome engaged in military and diplomatic expansionistic state behavior, which we now describe as ‘imperialism,’ since well before the appearance of ancient sources describing this activity. Over the course of at least 800 years, the Romans established and maintained a Mediterranean-wide empire from Spain to Syria (and sometimes farther east) and from the North Sea to North Africa. How and why they did this is a source of perennial scholarly controversy. Earlier debates over whether Rome was an aggressive or defensive imperial state have progressed to theoretically informed discussions of the extent to which system-level or discursive pressures shaped the Roman Empire. Roman imperialism studies now encompass such ancillary subfields as Roman frontier studies and Romanization.
As of 2021, Brill Research Perspectives in Ancient History is no longer published as a journal by Brill, but will continue as a book series. Brill Research Perspectives in Ancient History (RPAH) is a peer-reviewed journal presenting review articles with commentary on the current state of the field of Ancient History. Articles draw on the latest interdisciplinary research in historical, cultural, political, social, and theoretical analysis to provide useful, up-to-date review and commentary for scholars, teachers, and students. Focused on Ancient History, the RPAH has a broad scope in geographic and chronological terms encompassing the Greco-Roman world, including the Mediterranean basin and Europe, from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity.
(Text by the editors)