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Wed 18 March
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Wednesday 18 March 2020 11.00 - 13.00
C-2 ANT02 Inequality and Social Poverty within Urban and Rural Landscapes. Understanding the Social Geography of the Ancient Society
P.N. van Eyckhof 2, 003
Networks: Antiquity , Social Inequality Chair: Lena Larsson Lovén
Organizers: Lisa Hagelin, Birgitta Sjöberg Leppänen Discussants: -
Jesper Carlsen : Imperial Slaves and Freedmen in the Deathscape of Roman Carthage.
The point of departure of this paper is two burial grounds excavated by A.-L. Delattre near the amphitheatre at Carthage in the late 19th century. In total, he found more than 900 funerary inscriptions mentioning almost 1300 individuals. The two necropoleis can be dated from the end of first century ... (Show more)
The point of departure of this paper is two burial grounds excavated by A.-L. Delattre near the amphitheatre at Carthage in the late 19th century. In total, he found more than 900 funerary inscriptions mentioning almost 1300 individuals. The two necropoleis can be dated from the end of first century to the early third century CE, when there was no space for further burials in the second burial ground. They are also known in French as ‘cimetières des officiales’ as most of those buried were members of the familia Caesaris at Carthage. The imperial burial grounds have been ignored by modern scholarship or studied in isolation without their social and archaeological context. This is regrettable since this deathscape of a well-defined group of imperial slaves and freedmen and their families is an excellent point of departure to discuss the social geography among a non-elite group in a Roman harbour city.
Dept. of History, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark (Show less)

Lisa Hagelin : Vir bonus or homo probus? – the Social and Gender Identity of the Roman Freedman
The freedman’s position in Late Republican and Early Imperial society is a typical Roman social phenomenon, which has no equivalent in any other ancient society. The social standing and conditions of life for freedmen varied enormously depending on factors such as the status of their former patron, their relation to ... (Show more)
The freedman’s position in Late Republican and Early Imperial society is a typical Roman social phenomenon, which has no equivalent in any other ancient society. The social standing and conditions of life for freedmen varied enormously depending on factors such as the status of their former patron, their relation to him, their physical environment (rural or urban), employments and status in the familia and so on. Although the freedmen cannot be seen as a homogenous group, many researchers have argued for the existence of a specific set of virtues that was commonly used for freedmen. In his seminal “The freedman in the Roman world”, Mouritsen states that ”[t]he construction of specific libertine qualities reflected the notion that they realised their potential for virtue differently from freeborn male citizens; essentially it happened through fidelity and hard work rather than valour and independent action” (Mouritsen 2011: 64). But is this really the case? Or could a kind of equality be seen in the usage of ideals between freedmen and freeborn men, in certain contexts? And how are freedmen positioned in relation to the ideal Roman masculinity?
The aim of this paper is to discuss and problematize whether there were certain virtues, qualities and ideals that were exclusive for freedmen and what the existence/absence of such virtues, qualities and ideals tells us about the freedmen’s social standing and gender identity. The empirical foundation of the investigation is a combination of Latin literary and epigraphical sources from c.50BC-120AD.
Centre for Gender Research
Uppsala University
Sweden (Show less)

Marja-Leena Hänninen : Religious Activity of Freedmen and the Sacral Topography of Ancient Ostia
By the Early Imperial period the Roman society as well as the religious life had considerably changed. One conspicuous element in this change was the increasing social group of freedmen. Freedmen had personal freedom, but they were not citizens in the full sense of the word and they did not ... (Show more)
By the Early Imperial period the Roman society as well as the religious life had considerably changed. One conspicuous element in this change was the increasing social group of freedmen. Freedmen had personal freedom, but they were not citizens in the full sense of the word and they did not have an access to the major civic offices or priesthoods. They had, however, their own networks, such as business based collegia or unofficial religious communities. My paper deals with Ostia, the harbour city of ancient Rome, which offers a vast collection of epigraphic and archaeological evidence. The dominance of the social group of the freedmen in the trade and business is easily discernible in Ostian evidence, as well as the rise of new cults introduced from other parts of the Roman empire. It has been assumed that these cults were specifically favoured by freedmen. I am interested in what kind of urban spaces the religious activities of freedmen took place in Ostia and how they were located in the urban topography. I am asking if the sacral topography of Ostia reflects the hierarchical and essentially unequal nature of the Roman society or if it is possible to trace more nuances in the rich evidence about the religious life of Ostia. Finally, I’ll discuss the role of religion in social integration and isolation of freedmen in the urban society and landscape of ancient Ostia.

Dept. of History, University of Helsinki
Finland (Show less)

Birgitta Sjöberg Leppänen : Inequality and the Social Production of Spaces of Coercion in the Ancient Greek Society
The public space has been and is still today creating meetings in communities, some positive but also some constructed on tensions between individuals holding different social identities. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how social identities as they intersect with the materiality of public space created various spaces ... (Show more)
The public space has been and is still today creating meetings in communities, some positive but also some constructed on tensions between individuals holding different social identities. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how social identities as they intersect with the materiality of public space created various spaces of oppression in archaic and classical Greece (ca 700-330 BCE), with particular focus on Athens as rich in source material. Necessary in this analyses is to determine how was restricted or coercive spaces constructed and by whom? Questions of relevance is therefore how was public space experienced by different resident groups in ancient Greece society. Was inequality visible in public spaces reinforced through intersecting social identities as gender, status, age, ethnicity and sexuality?
This study sets out to contribute to the present discussion on gendered exposedness and female presence in public space of the ancient city. This will be done by analyzing not only how female individuals but also how other groups in society were subjected to multiple forms of subordination in urban space, be they men or women, free or un-free, young or old. Through studying the physical and social infrastructure of the urban space, as the agoras, gymnasia, fountains, streets but also brothels, bars etc., and those using these spaces further knowledge on the ancient urban space
Dr Birgitta L. Sjöberg
Department of Historical Studies, Ancient History
Gothenburg University
Sweden (Show less)



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