University of Helsinki
From the fora to the assemblies and beyond, public space in ancient Rome was both political and contested, reflecting changing notions of community, citizenship and the values and norms behind them. The purpose of this conference is to explore the political, cultural and legal notions of public space and public realm in Rome. By observing the place of magistrates in the public spaces of Rome and more generally in the ideas behind Republican governance, it seeks to question and unpack the notions that have been built into the concept of Roman republican governance. On one hand we have the notion of Republicanism and public law, which has a rich history of modernizing interpretations and reuses in European history. On the other, there is the equally rich tradition of rituals, ceremonies, religious convictions and beliefs that surround the practices of governance. By examining the spacial aspect, how these were situated and interlinked and how public and private space!
s and roles intermingled, we are hoping to shed new light into cultural and social dimension of Roman republicanism and its transformation from the Republic to the Principate. By setting ideas into their dynamic spatial, social and cultural contexts, we hope to subvert the traditional story of Roman constitutionalism.
The organizers invite paper proposals for a number of central themes relating to the topic. The themes are:
- magistrates, assemblies and the transformation of the political spaces
- spaces of administration and memory
- religious institutions, collegia and the intermingling between the civic and religious spheres
- invisible borders and divisions in the public sphere
- the Republican domus, its connections with and role as a model of administrative space
- spaces of exclusion and intersectionality
- comparative studies on public space in the ancient world
- the reception of the Roman republicanist thought and practice
The abstract should be max. 400 words long and be accompanied by a short 1 page CV.
Confirmed keynote speakers: Harriet Flower (Princeton), Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp (Köln), Catherine Steel (Glasgow), Clifford Ando (Chicago)
The conference is organized by the research project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw, www.spacelaw.fi), funded by the European Research Council. There is no conference fee. The organizers are unfortunately unable to aid in either travel arrangements or the cost of travel.