The acculturation proceeded from the top down, the upper classes adopting Roman culture first and the old ways lingering longest in outlying districts among peasants.The identification of countryfolk as pagani is discussed at paganism. Hostages played an important part in this process, as elite children, from Mauretania to Gaul, were taken to be raised in Rome.Leonard A. Curchin,The Romanization of Central Spain: complexity, diversity, and change in a Provincial Hinterland, 2004, p.130.
Ancient Roman historiography and traditional Italian historiography confidently identified the different processes involved with a "civilization of barbarians". Modern historians take a more nuanced view: by making their peace with Rome, local elites could make their position more secure and reinforce their prestige. New themes include the study of personal and group values and the construction of identity, the personal aspect of ethnogenesis.... Read More