Writing and re-writing history in ancient Rome: an epigraphical approach

Salle 2, EHESS  -  105 Bvd Raspail  -  75006 Paris
L'équipe Anthropologie de l'écriture - IIAC et le Centre Louis Gernet accueillent l'épigraphiste anglaise Alison Cooley pour une conférence intitulée "Writing and re-writing history in ancient Rome: an epigraphical approach", dont le résumé est ci-dessous:

This paper offers some reflections about how writing in the form of inscriptions developed as a form of history-writing in ancient Rome. Inscriptions at Rome were not part of what the Romans would have thought of as history-writing in its narrow sense, but inscriptions were, even so, part of historical thinking. My paper starts with some thoughts about how, before the development of history-writing, the history of Rome was shaped by inscriptions representing the history of the city’s office-holding elite. It then considers a second way of representing Rome’s history, as a sequence of individual magistrates, in the inscriptions known as fasti, or calendars. It then outlines a further development in ways of writing Rome’s history, this time as the history of a single individual, Augustus. It illustrates how the process whereby Augustus emerged as de facto monarch at Rome was supported and consolidated by inscriptions and other monuments encouraging awareness of his unique place in Rome’s history. The final section of my paper moves forward into late antiquity, a period when there appears to be a striking preoccupation with the role of inscriptions in shaping the historical record, and it takes as a case-study inscriptions in the forum of Trajan at Rome. It shows how inscriptions were set up in an attempt to revise the historical record, as the newly Christian elite tried to come to terms with the city’s pagan past .
Alison E. Cooley
University of Warwick
  • le mardi 24 novembre 2009  de 11h  à 13h
  • Leila Choueiri (ecriture@ehess.fr)
    Equipe Anthropologie de l'écriture
    105 Bvd Raspail, 75006 Paris
    01 45 44 61 50
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