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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

Through the study of a particular theme in Classical Archaeology (funeral contexts and funeral monuments) the course aims to provide the following skills:
- Application of an interdisciplinary methodological approach in the interpretation of the ancient world;
- Historical, socio-economic and cultural contextualization of Greek and Roman artistic expression;
- Highlighting the cultural forms underlying artistic choices and the role of the patron;
- Writing and presenting orally personal research.

The main knowledge that will be acquired comprises:
-The funeral contexts in Greek and Roman worlds as known from literary, epigraphic and iconographic sources and their relation to society and culture of the time;
-Architectural, juridical, socio-economic, cultural aspects of the funeral contexts and in particular of the funeral monuments;
-Location of the necropolis in the urban space and in the countryside;
-Anthropological, chemical, paleobotanical analyses of the funeral contexts.


basic knowledge of the Greek and Roman ancient history and art

Course programme

The course offers a focused study of the funeral contexts and funeral monuments in Greek and Roman times.
In the first part we address the study of Greek and Roman funeral contexts and funeral monuments by means of the integrated analysis of various types of source (literary, epigraphic, archaeological and historical-artistic). Topics highlighted include the architectural aspects of the funeral monuments, their decoration, their inscriptions, the location of the necropolis in the city, the grave goods, the rites etc. In the second part we address the study of anthropological, paleobotanical, chemical etc. analyses of the funeral contexts. In the third part we will analyze some examples of funeral contexts in Gallia Cisalpina (with oral presentations by the students) and we will visit some sites and monuments.

Didactic methods

The first part of the course will consist of lectures while the second and the third will consist of seminars and the educational trips to be agreed upon at the beginning of the course.

Learning assessment procedures

The exam is intended to assess the extent of achievement of the learning outcomes described above.
Students will be required to prepare, at least one week before the oral examination, an essay (preferably with some personal critical input) on a funerary context in Roman Empire of their choice.
The paper should be 10-12 pages of 2000 characters each, including notes, bibliography and explanatory images.
The oral exam will consist of several questions about the general part of the course and the educational visits (this part will account for 40% of the final grade) and on the discussion of the essay (this part will be worth 60 per cent of the final grade).

Reference texts

The material provided by the teacher (lecture PowerPoints) should be combined with the study of a text chosen from amongst those that will be presented in class and listed on the first slide of each lecture.