Mario Cossío Olavide
PhD student, Department of Spanish & Portuguese
His research focuses on 14th-century Castile, mainly on the Libro de buen amor, by Juan Ruiz, and the political life and literary career of the Infante Juan Manuel of Villena. His latest work focuses on studying the manifestations of Juan Manuel’s politics of convenience, and in a larger context, how Juan Manuel’s career is part of more extensive—and cross-confessional—Mediterranean network of power and knowledge.
Graduate student, Department of History
Currently working on a dissertation in history, provisionally titled, “An Empire of Cities: Imperialism, Administration, and Cities in Mid-Republican Rome.” This project seeks to reconstruct the Roman Republic’s relationship with the cities of its empire during the period from the First Punic War until the death of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BCE. It was during this period that the foundation for Rome’s governance of its empire was first laid. Starting in the fifth century BCE, Rome had used local cities and colonies to secure its position in Italy as it expanded across the peninsula. This approach to controlling space via cities was refined with Rome’s acquisition of overseas territory in Sicily and Iberia. Cities, such as Carthago Nova, Syracuse, Lilybaion, and Fregellae, facilitated local administration and, in the process, maintained Rome’s power in the area. Thus, it was the cities that maintained the Roman empire and shaped Roman imperialism. Understanding how Rome approached the task of maintaining its empire and power during the late third and second century is critical as these practices shaped how Rome governed its empire until the seventh century CE.