Academic Year 2017/2018 - 3° Year - Curriculum Unico
Teaching Staff: Gaetano Maria ARENA
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: L-ANT/03 - ROMAN HISTORY
Taught classes: 36 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

  • to outline the social and cultural history of Rome with particular reference to the permanent factors that determined its specificity, i.e. the different groups in which Roman society was divided, the interrelationships between different layers, the bonds and conflicts between the individual parts, the system of cultural values
  • to define, in the sociological and especially historiographical area, the different social subsets of ancient Rome to which the “marginal” condition is recognized, through the indispensable aid of sources, often expression of the views of the dominant culture
  • to define ethnic identities and local cultures, through the models of cultural contact, biculturalism, acculturation, in its four possible strategies (integration, assimilation, separation, marginalization)

Detailed Course Content

  • concept of social and cultural “marginality” in contemporary sociology and historiography and its application to the ancient world
  • description of the main groups of marginals, i.e. beggars, strangers (homeless, seasonal workers, shepherds, slaves, pilgrims), “infames” (actors, gladiators, wizards) and criminals (thieves, robbers, prisoners), even if it’s difficult to identify distinct categories of marginals in the concrete social and cultural life of the West in Late Antiquity (III-VI century AD)
  • analysis of the sources that describe certain “pathologies” of society, as they were perceived at the level of the dominant culture; assessment of the measures taken by the secular and ecclesiastical institutions towards marginals, for whom were sometimes provided care systems and/or corrective methods for recovery of deviance, for rehabilitation, reintegration and rehabilitation work; sometimes, on the contrary, were taken attitudes of moral condemnation and/or regulatory measures of prevention, repression, punishment and detention

Textbook Information

V. Neri, I marginali nell’Occidente tardoantico. Poveri, ‘infames’ e criminali nella nascente società cristiana, Bari Edipuglia 1998, pp. 7-500.