Again, thanks for your comments. If you have any references for their ideological emphasis on free will and self-determination, I'd love to have them. Also, your version of Roman "colonialism" seems to agree with how the archaeologist, Chris Gosden (2004), characterizes it.
In terms of the land question, would it be safe to say that the Roman state was more concerned about "incorporation" of distant lands and peoples than transforming local economies and practices (e.g., land-use, land-tenure, etc.)? With an exception being areas chosen for latifundia and, to a lesser extent, areas settled by war veterans, who would be given estates?
And would that mean that struggles over land such as the dispute between Cassius and Verginius over division of the land of the conquered Hernicians, and other practices leading to land consolidation among the wealthy, were more limited to areas nearer to Rome, rather than the far-flung areas of the empire?
Also, what conceptual/legal categories did they have for land? I've heard about res publica and res communis, but were there others? And what might res communis actually have meant on-the-ground? Would it have meant leaving local lands alone? Or would it have allowed local lands under the category of res communis to be captured by any ambitious entrepreneur (general, soldier, etc.) who desired them? Sorry to bug you with all these questions, but if they're getting tiresome, maybe you can provide me with some references I can research on my own. Thanks a lot.