ROMAN HISTORY (UNIT A)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
To provide a critical account, according to science and knowledge and for the use and enjoyment of students, of the history of losers, of the poor, and of the marginalised through the documentary and human wealth of sources and testimonies. Rigorous and authentic memory - sine ira et studio, as Tacitus wrote – of the subordinate classes, losers, and common men and women in their daily lives and activities. Those, in short, who have made and are making history, but do not know it!
Course contents summary
MODULE A / PROPEDEUTIC/HISTORICAL [= 5 Credits]
A.1 [historical part]. History of Rome and the Roman world, from its Italic origins to the “fall” of the western empire: the geo-political and socio-economic overview.
A.2 [propedeutic part]. General introduction to (ancient) history. The documentary basis: sources and testimonies.
MODULE B / MONOGRAPHIC/SEMINAR [= 5 Credits]
B.1 [monographic part]. The course will cover the ideas, fears and taboos surrounding death and the dead in the Roman world, with particular attention on written documentation. The general historiographical outline is as follows:
– “a death sweeter than a dream…”
– unusual and unexpected deaths; violent deaths in times of peace (suicides, murders, executions, infanticide) and of war;
– the organisation, execution and conclusion of funeral liturgies and mourning practices: the role of women;
– interdicts and taboos: purification and liberation of the living;
– places and ways of burial: incineration and burial
– typology, ideological meaning and socio-economic value of sepulchral monuments;
– dialogue between the deceased and the living: written records and iconography of the deceased (and of death);
– days of the dead: cult of the deceased and of the netherworld;
– presence, fear and expulsion of the dead from daily life.
B.2 [seminar part]. Practical classes will cover the daily life and recollections of women and men from the lower classes through messages and images from Latin epigraphy.
S. Roda, Profilo di storia romana, rist., Rome, Carocci, 2003 and a good historical atlas
Vita e morte nei "carmina Latina epigraphica" della Padania centrale, cur. N. Criniti, 2 ed., Parma, La Pilotta Editrice, 1998
"Res publica Veleiatium". Veleia, tra passato e futuro, cur. N. Criniti, Parma, MUP Editore, 2006
N. Criniti, <Imbecillus sexus>. Le donne nell’Italia antica, Brescia, Grafo, 1999
Gli affanni del vivere e del morire. Schiavi, soldati, donne, bambini nella Roma imperiale, cur. N. Criniti, 2 ed., Brescia, Grafo, 1997, pp. 17-148
Off campus, but with frequent specialised seminars and field trips to museums and archaeological sites (Veleia being the most important), real periodic laboratories to develop a better understanding, even technical, of the myths and rites relating to death.