Religions of the classical world

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-STO/06
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to offer the student a general preparation on the contents of the discipline and a series of hermeneutic tools that have their bases in the birth of the history of religions as an autonomous object of critical reflection. The field of investigation will be delimited by the perimeter of Greek-Latin polytheism. The course also aims at integrating its objectives with those identified by the Humanities degree course, with particular attention to the antiquity course.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: the student will be guided to the knowledge of the problems of the religions of the classical world and to an overall reconstruction of the methodologies of study related to them. They will know the different hermeneutic opportunities offered by the history of studies and the different elements that characterize ancient polytheism (naming the gods, beliefs, ritual systems, religious ceremonies, festivals).

Competences: the student will be able to interpret, starting from the analysis of the ritual context, the religious phenomena in the ancient world, making the most of his or her personal patrimony of knowledge and of the examples proposed. They will also be able to understand affinities and divergences in the presentation of the problem, starting from the different sources used (literary, iconographic, documentary).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evilution of the public health situation
Course syllabus
Part A
The first part is devoted to the reconstruction of the history of the studies that led to the definition of the discipline as a historical discipline that makes use of the contribution of different hermeneutic approaches, specifically and in particular: philosophy, anthropology, ethnology, and history.


Part B:

The second part deals with some key concepts for the understanding of classical religions: polytheism, religion/superstition/magic, pantheon, sacrifice, places of worship, divination, rites of passage etc. Special attention will be paid to the reading of ancient sources, textual and iconographic, and their interpretation.

Part C
The third part will be dedicated to the investigation of the insular religious context with the study of two of the most important Greek islands: Crete and Cyprus. The presentation of the islands will be preceded by a brief introduction to the theme of insularity in the ancient world. We will then consider: festivals, ceremonies, cultural patterns, and relevant myths through an examination of literary, documentary, and archaeological sources. This part of the course will work in synergy with the course of Ancient Numismatics, LT (prof. Alessandro Cavagna) that, in the third part, will be dedicated to deepen the insular theme referred to Crete and Cyprus from the point of view of the numismatic records. It is also foreseen the possibility, for the students who should request it, to participate to an international summer school, that will take place in Cyprus in the summer of 2022 (more details will be given during the lessons).
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites for admission.
Teaching methods
The course is offered in a lecture format. It has no formal entry requirements. However, attendance is strongly recommended, given that most students have no previous knowledge of this subject from school.
Teaching Resources
Attending students (LT)
Part A
One between: G. Scarpelli, Il razionalista pagano, Meltemi (dedicato a Frazer); R. Otto, Il sacro; R. Caillois, L'uomo e il sacro; J.P. Vernant, Mito e religione in Grecia antica

Non attending students LT
Two among: G. Scarpelli, Il razionalista pagano, Meltemi (dedicato a Frazer); R. Otto, Il sacro; R. Caillois, L'uomo e il sacro; J.P. Vernant, Mito e religione in Grecia antica

Attending students LM
Two among: G. Scarpelli, Il razionalista pagano, Meltemi (dedicato a Frazer); R. Otto, Il sacro; R. Caillois, L'uomo e il sacro; J.P. Vernant, Mito e religione in Grecia antica

Non attending students LM:
L. Bertelli, "J. E. Harrison e i «Ritualisti di Cambridge»: la riscoperta del «primitivo»", Itaca (2005), pp. 111-138 provided by the professor on Ariel
J.-P. Vernant, Religione, storia, ragione, SE
G. Filoramo, M. Massenzio, M. Raveri, P.Scarpi, Manuale di storia delle religioni. Laterza, parte IV


Part B
Attending students LT:
Francesca Prescendi, Philippe Borgeaud, (a cura di), Religioni Antiche. Un'introduzione comparata, Carocci, 2011

Non attending students LM
- Francesca Prescendi, Philippe Borgeaud, (a cura di), Religioni Antiche. Un'introduzione comparata, Carocci, 2011.
- M. Bettini, Elogio del politeismo, Mulino, Bologna, 2014

Attending students LM
- Francesca Prescendi, Philippe Borgeaud, (a cura di), Religioni Antiche. Un'introduzione comparata,
Carocci, 2011.
- M. Bettini, Dèi e uomini nella città. Antropologia, religione e cultura nella Roma antica, Carocci, 2015

Non attending students LM
- Francesca Prescendi, Philippe Borgeaud, (a cura di), Religioni Antiche. Un'introduzione comparata,
Carocci, 2011.
- De Sanctis, La religione a Roma, Carocci, 2012.


Part C
Attending students LT
A dossier provided by the professor

Non attending students LT
G. Ieranò, Arcipelago, Einaudi
S. Romani, "Animali fantastici e dove trovarli, a Cipro", Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni (2020), provided by the professor on Ariel

Attending Students (LM)
G. Ieranò, Arcipelago, Einaudi
S. Romani, Il mito di Arianna, Einaudi

Non attending students LM
G. Ieranò, Arcipelago, Einaudi
S. Romani, Il mito di Arianna, Einaudi
S. Romani, "Animali fantastici e dove trovarli, a Cipro", Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni (2020), provided by the professor on Ariel
Assessment methods and Criteria
The examination is exclusively oral, and the grading system is based on a 30 points scale (18 is the minimum passing grade). The oral assessment will test the knowledge both of the general topics presented in the first teaching unit and of the specific topics related to the other two units. The exam also aims at testing the ability both to discuss critically the topics studied and to use the appropriate discipline-specific vocabulary. Performance descriptors are: knowledge accuracy, ability to present critically a topic, speech organization, fluency and appropriate vocabulary.
National and international students or Erasmus incoming students are invited to contact the teacher in charge of the course in a timely manner.
The examination procedures for students with disabilities and/or with learning disabilities must be agreed with the teacher, in agreement with the competent office.
Unita' didattica A
M-STO/06 - HISTORY OF RELIGIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Romani Silvia
Unita' didattica B
M-STO/06 - HISTORY OF RELIGIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Fabiano Doralice
Unita' didattica C
M-STO/06 - HISTORY OF RELIGIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Romani Silvia