LATIN EPIGRAPHY (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 documentary and human wealth of texts which are largely unknown outside of academic circles and, yet, we see them every day in the form of road signs, signs, media messages, funeral memorials, and love or hate graffiti on walls (real «spontaneous palimpsests») if one cares to notice them, look at them, listen to them, talk about them and comment on them. These inscriptions reveal, in a summary and selective manner, the complex, varied and “regional” system of myths, rites and their accompanying hopes and fears. In the ancient Roman world, epigraphs are the most authoritative testimony of the past: they represent the permanent, documented and private and public history of the deceased and living, of those who “are no longer” and those who “are” despite the brevity of life.
Knowledge of Latin and Roman history.
Course contents summary
The historical auxiliary sciences of ancient times will be analysed, as well as the different typologies of written artefacts (the Tabula alimentaria di Veleia, above all), by studying the composition techniques and contents of the last writings of ancient and modern times, with a short and detailed (epigraphic) finale. Activities and specific research is expected in the field. Practical classes will cover the daily life and recollections of lower class women and men through messages and images from Latin epigraphy.
[1°] "Res publica Veleiatium". Veleia, tra passato e futuro, cur. N. Criniti, 3 ed., Parma, MUP Editore, 2007, pp. 1-263
[2°] G. C. Susini, Epigrafia romana, rist., Rome, Jouvence, 2003
[3°] «Lege nunc, viator ...». Vita e morte nei "carmina Latina epigraphica" della Padania centrale, cu r. N. Criniti, 2 ed., Parma, La Pilotta [c/o La Bottega del Libro / Parma], 1998
Off campus, but with frequent specialised seminars and field trips to museums and archaeological sites (Veleia being the most important). These will serve as periodic laboratories to develop a better understanding of and specialisation in epigraphy and its techniques.
The assessment will consider students’ ability to critically analyse and edit written texts.