Academic Year 2018/2019 - 2° Year - Curriculum Educatore sociale e di comunità
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”, through the indispensable help of some kinds of sources (legal texts, homilies, hagiographic narratives), sometimes expression of point of view of the dominant culture;
  • to analyze the different acculturation strategies (integration, assimilation, separation, marginalization) in the relations between the dominant culture and the local cultures;
  • 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.

Course Structure

Frontal lessons.

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.
  • C.R. Whittaker, Il povero, in A. Giardina (a cura di), L’uomo romano, Roma-Bari Laterza 1989, pp. 299-333.
  • B.D. Shaw, Il bandito, in A. Giardina (a cura di), L’uomo romano, Roma-Bari Laterza 1989, pp. 335-384.
  • 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).