Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Gaetano Maria ARENA

Expected Learning Outcomes

The expected learning objectives, broken down according to the Dublin Descriptors, are as follows:

Knowledge and comprehension skills (DD1)

The course aims at providing students with knowledge and tools useful both for understanding and interpreting the history of educational institutions in the Roman age, through the acquisition of a perspective that is not only diachronic, i.e. aimed at showing continuity and transformations, phases and rhythms of growth of the educational system between the Republican and Imperial age, but also synchronic, i.e. aimed at grasping space-time and cause-effect links, establishing interdisciplinary connections, evaluating and interpreting events and processes of long duration.

Applied knowledge and understanding (DD2)

The course aims to provide students with knowledge and tools useful for both the identification - through direct analysis of the sources - and the definition in a sociological and above all historiographical context of the osmotic relationship that linked educational institutions not only to the various aspects of the social life of ancient Rome but also to the policies of numerous emperors, whose regulatory interventions specifically affected school policy.

Autonomy of judgement (DD3) and communication skills (DD4)

The teaching aims to provide students with knowledge and tools useful both for the development in students of the awareness and maturity necessary not only for a re-elaboration, an in-depth study and a critical rethinking of the disciplinary contents learned, but also for correctly communicating the meaning of their ideas and actions through the appropriate use of the technical vocabulary of the discipline.

Ability to learn (DD5)

Teaching aims to provide students with the necessary tools not only to increase their knowledge in relation to their increased awareness of their own training needs, but also to refine their skills in the study of increasingly complex topics and above all to broaden and refine their learning skills and use of innovative methodologies to tackle new problems.

Course Structure


In-depth seminars.

Required Prerequisites

A knowledge of the basic coordinates of Roman history is desirable, although during the lectures the lecturer will punctually provide the chronological and geographical references indispensable for a correct contextualisation in time and space of the phenomena studied.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is not compulsory, but definitely advisable, both because the contents of the lectures will be punctually supported by the projection of slides and supplemented by the lecturer's explanation, and because comprehension of the aforementioned contents will be periodically checked in the classroom through appropriate formative feedback (reading, analysis and commentary of a historical document; drafting of conceptual maps).

Non-attending students may contact the lecturer directly for clarification of the programme.

For Erasmus students there is the possibility of agreeing on the examination programme after an interview.

Detailed Course Content

- education and society: liberal education and vocational training; expressive and cultural mediators (voice, writing, image)

- education in interpersonal relationships and social roles: sexual and love relationships; marriage relationships; Lucius Antistius Rusticus and Mummia Nigrina, coniuges et socii

- institutional and environmental mediators of education (familia, school, paedagogium, collegium, youth associations, army)

- professional education (surveyor, architect, geographer, doctor, midwife, veterinary surgeon, teacher, grammarian, rhetorician)

- aspects of school policy in the imperial age: establishment of state and municipal professorships and remuneration of professores

Textbook Information

- R. Frasca, Educazione e formazione a Roma. Storia, testi, immagini, Bari Edizioni Dedalo 1996, pp. 11-546.

- M. Albana, Stato e istituzioni educative. Aspetti di politica scolastica in età imperiale, Catania CULC 2000, pp. 11-102.

- G. Arena, Lucius Antistius Rusticus e Mummia Nigrina: coniuges et socii, in O. Licandro-C. Giuffrida-M. Cassia (a cura di), Senatori, cavalieri e curiali fra privilegi ereditari e mobilità verticale, Roma-Bristol L’Erma di Bretschneider 2020, pp. 147-164.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Education: reality and representationFrasca, pp. 11-37
2Expressive and cultural mediators in education: voice, writing, imageFrasca, pp. 39-106
3Sexual and love relationships: reality and educational representation. Role education and marital relationshipsFrasca, pp.109-174
4Lucio Antistio Rustico and Mummia Nigrina: coniuges et sociiArena, pp. 147-164
5The familiaFrasca, pp.177- 254
6School and school educationFrasca, pp. 255-328; 517-549
7The workshop, the paedagogium, the collegiumFrasca, pp. 329-344
8Youth associations. Gymnastic-sporting and civic-religious education, between play, initiatory ritual and politicsFrasca, pp. 345-370
9The armyFrasca, pp. 371-386
10The surveyor. The architect. The geographerFrasca, pp. 389-450
11The doctor. The midwife. The veterinary surgeon. The teacher, the grammarian, the rhetoricianFrasca, pp. 451-51; Albana, pp. 11-18
12State and municipal chairsAlbana, pp. 19-78
13Remuneration of liberalium studiorum professoresAlbana, pp. 79-102

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

A multiple-choice questionnaire will be administered in presence on the Microsoft Teams platform. The test will focus on the contents of the text by R. Frasca. 

Students must pass this test with a mark of at least 18/30 in order to then be able to take the oral test on the remaining part of the programme at the official appeal.

Students who have not chosen to take this test or who, although they have taken it, have not obtained at least a sufficient mark can, of course, take the oral examination on the whole programme at the official appeal.

The assessment of the test averages out in the formulation of the final grade.

Final examination: oral.

The following assessment criteria will be adopted for the awarding of marks:

- ability to independently rework and critically deepen the content acquired

- ability to make appropriate use of the means of expression

- ability to use the technical vocabulary of the discipline appropriately

- ability to grasp space-time and cause-effect connections

- ability to establish interdisciplinary connections through the methodology of historical research

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The questions will focus on the content presented in class by the lecturer and analytically indicated above among the topics of the syllabus. These topics not only represent the core and merely illustrative of the various questions posed during the examination, but also constitute the necessary cue for verifying in each individual student the capacity for in-depth study and autonomous rethinking, expressive and lexical skills, and the ability to make interdisciplinary connections.