Academic Year 2020/2021 - 2° Year - Curriculum Educatore sociale di comunita'
Teaching Staff: Gaetano Maria ARENA
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: L-ANT/03 - ROMAN HISTORY
Taught classes: 36 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

  • to define in sociological and above all historiographical field different social subsets of ancient Rome to which can be given the status of “marginality” (beggars, foreigners, prostitutes, actors, gladiators, magicians, astrologers, soothsayers, thieves, brigands, prisoners), through the indispensable help of some kinds of sources (legal texts, homilies, hagiographic narratives), usually expression of point of view of the dominant culture: giving wide space to the direct use of the sources achieves a twofold educational objective, as it contributes to the development in the learners both of the ability to understand the space-time and cause-effect links and of the ability to establish interdisciplinary links through the historical research methodology;
  • to outline the history of marginals in the late ancient West (Italy, Gaul, Spain, North Africa) between III and VI-VII century A.D.;
  • to identify the mechanisms of exclusion implemented in the late ancient Roman society, the possible interrelations between different marginal groups, the links and conflicts between the different layers, the system of cultural values and the collective imagination, the implementation or not of methods of recovery of deviance, the possible prevision of re-education, rehabilitation and/or re-employment systems, the attitudes of moral condemnation or repression by the Church and the State;
  • to analyze the different acculturation strategies (integration, assimilation, separation, marginalization) in the relations between the dominant culture and the 'other' cultures, in order to give students both the ability to autonomously rework and deepen the contents learned, and the ability to appropriately use the technical vocabulary of the discipline, as well as the ability to adequately use expressive means.

Course Structure

Frontal lessons.

Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the Syllabus.

Detailed Course Content

  • the contributions of contemporary sociology and history to the study of “marginality” in the Roman world;
  • the socio-economic aspects of marginality: the poor;
  • the Latin lexicon of begging in the pagan and Christian world;
  • the values of evergetism and almsgiving; social identity of beggars and places of begging; reception facilities and the types of recipiens; the almsgiving ecclesiastical organization: typologies, forms and times;
  • the socio-economic aspects of marginality: the strangers (vagrants, seasonal workers, shepherds, fugitives colonists, monks and pilgrims);
  • the legal aspects of marginality: the infames (prostitutes and pimps, actors and gladiators) and the operators of the occult (fortune tellers, magicians and astrologers);
  • the criminals (thieves, robbers and prisoners). Judicial uses of the prison; location, structure and organization of places of detention.

Textbook Information

  • V. Neri, I marginali nell’Occidente tardoantico. Poveri, ‘infames’ e criminali nella nascente società cristiana, Bari Edipuglia 1998, pp. 7-500.
  • F. Cenerini, Doppiamente marginali: le donne schiave in alcuni documenti epigrafici, in C. Giuffrida-M. Cassia-G. Arena (a cura di), Roma e i 'diversi'. Confini geografici, barriere culturali, distinzioni di genere nelle fonti letterarie ed epigrafiche fra età repubblicana e Tarda Antichità, Milano Le Monnier Università 2018, pp. 270-281.
  • A. Buonopane, Bullismo omofobico sui muri di Pompei?, in C. Giuffrida-M. Cassia-G. Arena (a cura di), Roma e i 'diversi', cit., pp. 282-298.
  • M. Cassia, L'estranea "di famiglia": una nutrix in un'epigrafe catanese d'età imperiale, in C. Giuffrida-M. Cassia-G. Arena (a cura di), Roma e i 'diversi', cit., pp. 309-323.
  • G. Arena, Il fuoco, la croce, le bestie: i supplicia dei latrones fra punizione, vendetta e terrore, in Annali della Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione di Catania 3, 2004, pp. 55-77 (disponibile on line all’indirizzo http://ojs.unict.it/ojs/index.php/annali-sdf/article/view/79/67).