Greek and roman history

A.A. 2023/2024
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
L-ANT/02 L-ANT/03
Obiettivi formativi
The course will offer an outline of the most significant moments that characterized the development of Greek and Roman civilizations from the end of the II millennium BCE to the fall of the Roman empire (476 CE), by focusing especially on political, institutional and socio-economic problems, and with a critical approach to the addressed issues
Risultati apprendimento attesi
1.Knowledge and understanding: learn the main questions that characterized the history of the Mediterranean World in the Greek and Roman periods; learn the institutional, economic and social dynamics that regulated the development of Greek and Roman societies; learn the most significant aspects of the cultural contexts of Greek and Roman civilizations; learn the different kinds of sources which are employed to reconstruct Greek and Roman history.
2.Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: learn how to use the appropriate terminology in all the processes of application and communication of the acquired knowledge; learn to adopt a critical approach in analyzing the ancient sources; learn to read, discuss and problematize modern scholarship on the history of Greek and Roman World.
3.Making judgements: ability to formulate an independent and well-grounded opinion on the historical and cultural phenomena typical of the Greek and Roman worlds; ability to interpret and evaluate the role of Greek and Roman history within the debate on the role of the past for a better understanding of contemporary society.
4.Communication skills: ability to express the main peculiarities of historical reflection by using appropriate terminology; ability to convey historical information in a broader and not specialized context.
5.Learning skills: ability to critically consult handbooks and reference texts and their bibliography; ability to use different types of sources to reconstruct a historical problem
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica


The first part of the course will focus on Greek history and begin by examining a number of preliminary questions such as the geographical context of Greek history, periodization, the different types of sources and their use, the origins and development of Greek historiography. The course will then move to the archaic Greek world and consider overarching themes such as the Dark Ages and the rise of the polis in the Mediterranean context, colonization, tyrants and legislators, the origins of alphabetic writing, political institutions (with special attention to Sparta and Athens), Greece and the Near-Eastern world, the Persian wars.
The following lectures will be devoted to Classical Greece and to an analysis of the most significant political phenomena: Athenian democracy and society, the Delian league and Athenian imperialism, the Peloponnesian war, tyranny in Sicily and the Western world, interstate relations (from Athens' defeat against Sparta to the battle of Mantinea, including the King's Peace and the Second Athenian League) and the failure of the model of the hegemonial polis, the rise of Macedon and Alexander's conquest of the Persian empire.
The final section will revolve around Alexander's successors, Hellenism and the Hellenistic monarchies down to the coming of Rome and the development of Roman rule over the oikoumene.

The second part of the course will be devoted to the study of the Roman History and start with an introduction to the ancient evidence - literary, epigraphical and archaeological sources - which are normally employed for the reconstruction of the history of Rome. Special attention will be paid to historiographical traditions, which will be outlined by references to the most important ancient historians. Thereafter, following a brief excursus devoted to the mythical origins of Rome, the course will treat the monarchic age of Rome, by focusing on the most relevant facts and figures of that period.
We will then move on to the early republican period, to outline the nature of the clash between the two main components of the civitas, the patrician and the plebeian, and the expansion of Rome in Italy and in the Mediterranean context.
The course will afterwards deal with the delicate period that led to the crisis of the republican system and the establishment, following a long series of civil wars, of the principate as a new form of government.
The last lessons will be devoted to outline the development of the principate, the consolidation of the Roman power on the Mediterranean world, and its subsequent crisis and changes in the 3rd century AD.
No prerequisites for admission.
Metodi didattici
The course will be offered in a lecture format. Each lecture will feature the use of slides, which will contribute to a better illustration of the topics dealt with by means of charts, geographical maps, texts of inscriptions, archaeological materials and excerpts from ancient literary sources (in English translation). The slides containing literary sources will be distributed to students.
Students are encouraged to attend lectures on a regular basis and to actively participate in the discussion.
Materiale di riferimento
P.J. Rhodes, A Short History of Ancient Greece, I.B. Tauris, London 2014.
T.R. Martin, Ancient Rome. From Romulus to Justinian, Yale University Press, Yale 2012.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
Assessment will consist of an oral examination, in which students will be assessed as to the knowledge and the competences acquired during the course and in the subsequent preparation for the exam.
On the one hand, it will be evaluated, by means of a series of questions related to different periods of Greek and Roman history, to what extent students are able to correctly place facts and figures into their historical contexts; in this respect, students are expected to have acquired precise and detailed knowledge of the most relevant themes of Greek and Roman history as well as of specific events and problems of a political-institutional nature.
On the other hand, students are expected to organize a coherent and logical discourse, in which they should present themes and problems of Greek and Roman history with correct historical, chronological and geographical references, using the appropriate (also technical) terminology.
Lezioni: 80 ore
Martedi ore 9.30-12.30 (previo appuntamento via mail)
Cortile Legnaia, sezione di Storia Antica del Dipartimento di Studi letterari, filologici e linguistici
Il ricevimento si effettua il giovedi dalle ore 14 in presenza o su Teams. E' necessario prenotarsi in anticipo inviando una mail alla docente
Cortile della Legnaia, Sez. Storia antica, piano terra
Martedi 14.30-17.30
Il ricevimento si svolge in presenza presso lo studio del docente (Cortile della Legnaia, ala di Storia antica), preferibilmente previo appuntamento. Per ogni altra esigenza il docente puo essere contatto scrivendo a [email protected]
martedi, 10.30-12.00; mercoledi, 10.30-12.00 (previo appuntamento per email)
Studio del docente, sez. di Storia Antica, Cortile Legnaia, Piano terra