Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0025 (AF:444440 AR:258548)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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The course is part of the master's degree in "Ancient Civilizations" and "History of Arts and Conservation of Heritage".
In the Master's Degree in "Science of Antiquity", the 12 credits module of "Classical Archeology" can be set up together with "Greek Archeology.
It aims to ensure:
- advanced content, methodological and epistemological skills in the field of Roman archeology;
- in-depth knowledge of Roman antiquity in its material expressions, obtained through the direct knowledge of the monuments and of all the documentary evidences that contribute to the reconstruction of the Roman world;
- advanced methodological skills in describing, reading and interpreting monuments;
- interest in the history of studies with particular reference to historiographical aspects;
- knowledge of the main tools for researching and updating the discipline;
- ability to develop an original scientific presentation
At the end of the course the student knows:
- understand and interpret the main material testimonies of the Roman world;
- proposing an analytical commentary on the material testimonies of the Roman world, framing them in a historical, chronological and historiographical way, proposing suitable comparisons and documentaries, explaining their relevance as historical testimony with particular attention to political and social aspects;
- use the tools necessary to update the research; access the main bibliographic databases;
- communicate in oral form using the specific terminology of the discipline;
- propose an original scientific presentation.
It is recommended but not required that the student should have sustained the examination of Archaeology and history of Greek and Roman art (undergraduate program).
The course deals with the different aspects of white and colored marble in the Roman world. The main topics will be:
- extraction (main quarries of white and colored marble in Italy, Greece, Turkey, North Africa; extraction methods, and examination of some quarries with finished and unfinished Roman artefacts still in situ; legal status of the quarries)
- shipping and trade (the most important marble routes; what the shipwrecked cargoes tell us; the landing ports, two examples: Rome and Ostia)
- processing (the processing phases of a marble artefact, from roughing to finishing; the main tools and ancient machines for working marble; analysis of ancient sculpture ateliers: a case in Aphrodisias of Caria, modern-day Turkey)
- use (various examples in sculpture and architecture; an imperial monopoly; rationalization of serial production: capitals).
Class notes. Reference text on marble in the Roman empire:
P. Pensabene, I marmi nella Roma antica, Roma 2013 (only some parts to be studied, which will be indicated at the beginning of the course
See also the following Exhibition catalogue:
I marmi colorati della Roma imperiale, Venezia 2002 (only some parts to be studied, which will be indicated at the beginning of the course)
Further bibliographical information will be provided during the lessons.


T. HÖLSCHER, Il linguaggio dell’arte romana, Torino, Einaudi, 1993.
P. ZANKER, Un’arte per l’Impero: funzione e intenzione delle immagini nel mondo romano, Electa, Milano 2002: cap. I (pp. 9-37), cap. V (pp. 92-111), cap. XI (pp. 212-231).

The students who cannot attend are asked to agree on a written text with the teacher.
The course will be held in the form of a seminar, with topics assigned to each participant in order to develop a written text. The exam is based on lecture notes, on the topics developed during the course and on some further recommended readings. The students who cannot attend the seminar are asked to agree on a program with the teacher, comprehensive of the written text.
The course provides traditional lectures
The course have the form of a seminar, and a topic will be assigned to each student.
written and oral
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 06/11/2023