session 25

TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE COMMUNITY CENTRAL SPACE

Organised by: Andrew Wallace-Hadrilland Dunia Filippi
Chairman: Andrew Wallace-Hadrill

The cultural identity of a community is not a static entity, but fluctuating and situational. As such cultural identity can be studied in an ‘évenemential’ continuum as also in the changing spatial frames within which it is conceived and where it is manifested, in the central space of the city. Recent studies have brought into play the Roman Forum as a priority area for the comprehension in historical terms of such a process. This is only the starting point, from which to proceed to analyse the relationship between public and private in the meeting place of the community, in the ancient world.

The first step of this analysis is to broaden the study to the other central space at the origins of the meeting spaces in the antiquity, the ‘agora’.

We have two main types of data to study the community in these ancient spaces, archaeological and literary, often used in “competition”. We would like to put together the different approaches in order to understand if we have different results or simply different aspects of a unique space.

From these “parents”, ‘agora’ and forum, we have to move to their “offspring”. In this context we want to analyse one of these, in the Roman world, to understand if and how the space changes in a Roman community, exposed to other cultural influences.

There is a component of the community that is usually neglected, the children. Which is their place in the use of the community space? Is it possible to investigate it?

Our aim is not to give answers but to set up a new agenda in order to put back to the ancient community central space its role as a multi-ethnic and not static place, origin and product of different pulses.

Le agorai di Atene. Dinamiche insediative, processi sociali e spazi del potere ad Atene dall’alto arcaismo all’età classica, Nikolaos Arvanitis

Continuita’ e cambiamenti nel Foro Romano, Dunia Filippi

The Roman Forum and the topography of autocracy in early imperial Rome, Hannah Price

The ‘Populus of the Future’: Children in the Forum?, Ray Laurence

Transformations of public space in the cities of Italy under the Principate: the case of the Forum, John Patterson

Forum and female presence: The evidence of honorific statuary from Italian and North African Cities, Cristina Murer