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Space and Governance: Towards a New Topography of Roman Administration

October 2, 2020 - October 3, 2020

Royal Academy of Spain in Rome (Real Academia de España en Roma)
Piazza San Pietro in Montorio 3
Rome, Italy

Call for Papers Deadline: December 1, 2019

Call for pa­pers: “Space and Governance: Towards a New Topography of Roman Administration” conference, 2-3 October 2020, Royal Academy of Spain at Rome (Real Academia de España en Roma)

The purpose of the conference is to explore the transformation of public space and administrative activities in Republican and Imperial Rome through an interdisciplinary exploration of the topography of power. The emergence of the Roman Republic produced a reorganization of the administrative structures, leading to the emergence of various entities and institutions responsible for the organization and governance of Rome, its civic life and public spaces. In different ways, this spatial model was exported to the colonies with the expansion of the Republic. Throughout the Roman world, building projects created spaces, the topography of the city, for different civic purposes: for the meetings of assemblies, senate meetings, the administration of justice, the public treasury, and the management of the city through different magistracies, offices, and even archives. These administrative spaces –open and closed– characterized the Roman life throughout the Republic and High Empire, until the profound administrative and judicial transformations of the Dominate. This conference aims to study the public and private spaces related to administration through urban development, the existing interrelation between the different administrative bodies, the analysis of the architecture of the spaces already discovered and the study of the written sources. We will try to find an answer to the dilemmas such as where did the administration work? Were there offices and where were they located? Were there social class differences between the different levels of administration?

• Urban development and dynamics related to the expansion of the administration
• New discoveries on the institutions and spaces of Roman administration
• The architecture of spaces for public meetings and trials: Assemblies, Senate, courtrooms, basilicas
• Private spaces in the administration: Residences of magistrates and the elite
• Magistracies, offices, and archives
• Epigraphy related to the Roman administration
• Development of institutions between early Republic and Late Antiquity
• New methodologies in Roman topography
• Gender, intersectionality and public space

Keynote speakers: Paolo Liverani (Università degli Studi di Firenze), Elena Isayev (University of Exeter) and Pier Luigi Tucci (Johns Hopkins University).

The conference is organized by the ERC-funded project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw,, based at the University of Helsinki. There is no conference fee. The organizers are unfortunately unable to aid in either travel or accommodation arrangements or the cost of travel or accommodation.

Abstracts should be 300 words maximum, for 20-minute papers to be delivered in English. Abstracts should be sent to The deadline for abstracts is 1st December 2019. Questions may be sent to Antonio Lopez Garcia (


Antonio Lopez Garcia


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Royal Academy of Spain in Rome (Real Academia de España en Roma)
Piazza San Pietro in Montorio 3
Rome, Italy
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