Kaleidoscopes and the Distribution of Memory in the Roman Empire
Kaleidoscopes, involving mirrors, patterns, color, mobility and fragments, provide one suitable metaphor for how we grasp memories, past and present, and there certainly has been, a recent kaleidoscope of memory studies in the Roman world. Starting from that framework, this paper will consider the distribution of memory in the empire. Distribution has numerous valences, including initial possession, sharing, circulation, division and dissemination: all of which, in conjunction with their opposites, played a part in the shaping and reshaping of memories and traditions within the empire. Three case studies from the Roman east will demonstrate the prismatic effect of these processes.