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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Ancient History

Undergraduate Course: Society and Epigraphy in Roman Italy (ANHI10017)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course is an introduction to the study of the history of ancient Italy, c. 400-100 BC. This is a period of considerable changes and development on the Italian peninsula that led to the establishment of the Roman republican empire by the 1st century. The course will look in detail at the evidence for political, religious and economic activity of the non-Roman peoples, Roman colony foundation in Italy, and the relationship in general between the Romans and the Italics (esp. in central and southern Italy). The aim of the course is to allow students to gain a fuller understanding of the processes that led to the Roman control of the Italian pen-insula in the Hellenistic period.
Course description The course offers focussed study of the history of so-called 'pre-Roman' Italy from the epigraphic record. Thus, the course aims to be an introduction to this major body of source material - i.e. epigraphy - as well as an in-depth analysis of Roman society from the epigraphic record. The focus will not be on the epigraphy of the single text - with its emphasis on linguistic knowledge and philological competence as opposed to other skills - but on the persuasive manipulation of bodies of inscriptions that pose a historical question despite often providing little else than a few lines of text, whether words or names. Such inscriptions do not require the student to have good or indeed any language skills at the beginning, and it is historians who are linguistic novices whom the course is designed to attract. The range of historical problems to be worked on will cut right across the linguistic landscape of what later came to be known as Roman Italy, thus including work not only on Latin inscriptions, but also for instance on Oscan or Umbrian texts.

A typical class schedule may look like this:

Class 1: Introduction & Lecture: What is Epigraphy?
Class 2: Lecture: The Italians and Rome AND Tutorial: Italy and its peoples - Part 1
Class 3: Lecture: The Roman conquest of Italy - so-called AND Tutorial: Italy and its peoples - Part 2
Class 4: Lecture: Deciphering Latin epitaphs AND Tutorial: Interpreting Latin epitaphs
Class 5: Museum session
Class 6: Lecture: Working with epigraphic handbooks AND Tutorial: Writing an epigraphic commentary
Class 7: Epigraphic Class Test
Class 8: CIL I(2) 581 - Student Presentations
Class 9: CIL I(2) 638 - Student Presentations
Class 10: CIL I(2) 709 - Student Presentations
Class 11: Lecture: The Social War AND Tutorial: Epigraphy and ancient Italy: Q&A

In addition to teacher-led instruction, students will be grouped in small teams and given a new epigraphic 'puzzle' each week that is relevant both for an understanding of society in Roman Italy and for the study of epigraphy. These 'puzzles' may require geographical mapping, quantitative analysis, interpretation of the epigraphic habit, etc. Students will have to present the underlying historical problem and argue their team's interpretation of it against those of the other teams at the ensuing class meeting.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014) AND Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter(at least 2 of which should be in Ancient History) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate in coursework and class discussion an understanding of the discipline ('epigraphy') and its importance for the historian
  2. demonstrate in coursework and class discussion an ability to use critically a variety of different methodologies and approaches to this body of source material
  3. demonstrate in coursework and class discussion an understanding of the complexity of the history of 'pre-Roman' Italy and the histories of its various 'peoples'
  4. demonstrate in coursework and class discussion a familiarity with real artefacts (in a museum context)
  5. demonstrate in coursework and class discussion bibliographical research skills to enable students to find independently additional information and epigraphic material relating to the study of society in Roman Italy
Reading List
J. Bodel, Epigraphic Evidence. Ancient History from Inscriptions (2001)
G. Bradley et al., Ancient Italy (2007)
G. Bradley, Ancient Umbria (2000)
M.H. Crawford, 'Italy and Rome', JRS 71 (1981), 153-160
E. Dench, From Barbarians to New Men: Greek, Roman, and Modern Perceptions of Peoples from the Central Apennines (1995)
M.W. Frederiksen, Campania (1984)
W.V. Harris, Rome in Etruria and Umbria (1971)
L. Isayev, Inside Ancient Lucania (2007)
A. Keaveney, Rome and the Unification of Italy (1987)
K. Lomas, Rome and the Western Greeks, 350BC-AD200 (1993)
K. Lomas, Roman Italy, 338BC-AD200. A Sourcebook (1996)
L. Keppie, Understanding Roman Inscriptions (1991)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Museum sessions to handle original source material will be arranged additionally; dates and times to be confirmed.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ulrike Roth
Tel: (0131 6)50 3586
Course secretary
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