Italy and Roman Provinces A

larko2370  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Italy and Roman Provinces A
5.00 credits
30.0 h

  This biannual learning unit is not being organized in 2021-2022 !

Main themes
The course discusses problematic issues and specific problems of interpretation in relation with use of archaeological sources for the reconstruction of social and political relations of Rome, since its fundation (8th century BC) up to the High Middle Age, Italy and Roman provinces. Especially considered are elements of urbanism, architecture and construction techniques in order to define a scheme of the Roman way of life throughout the ages.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Advanced course for archaeologists specializing in Roman archaeology whether of Italy, the centre of power, or of the provinces of the Empire. The aim is to develop a critical sense and apply methods of analysis of art (painting, sculpture and architecture) and material culture of this millennium long civilization reluctant of all standardized analytical approach. Use of theoretical and anthropological concepts in archaeological interpretation as well of literary and epigraphical sources of Latin Antiquity.
The main topic to be treated during the year 2020-2021 is the “Archaeology of the Roman Cult of Mithras”.
If Mithras has indo-iranian origins which date back to the 2nd millennium BC, his cult became very popular during the Roman Imperial period. Archaeological excavations continue to reveal evidence of this cult across the Empire. The evidence brings together ruins of temples, statues, reliefs, ceramics, but also inscriptions and ancient texts. The course aims at presenting a new synthesis of all the data. Based on texts, images and archaeological evidence, our attention will focus on the spread of this oriental god across Italy and the Roman provinces, on Mithras’ temples, Mithras’ adepts and ceremonies.
Part 1 – Theoretical sessions
  • 1. Introduction – Historiography and research problem
  • 2. Origins of Mithras cult: from Persia to Rome
  • 3. The sacred narrative
  • 4. The Mithraeum: a sacred cave (topography, architecture, settings)
  • 5. Mithraic rituals: initiations and banquets
  • 6. Agents of the cult
  • 7. The end of Mithras’ cult
Part 2 – Workshops
  • Lecture – The Roman cult of Mithras at Ostia
  • Seminar sessions: study of several “mithraea” across the Roman provinces
Teaching methods
A combination of ex-cathedra lessons by the teacher or invited speakers and seminars. The sessions are prepared by the students on the basis of one or more articles of which the list is given at the beginning of the year. The students are also invited to participate actively in certain sessions which may take the forms of seminars prepared by the students. Possibility to organize a study tour abroad  with presentations by students and introduction to field work.
The students will have to prepare a written research essay for December.
Evaluation methods
Written examination (50%) and written essay (50%).
Online resources
Pdf of Course and bibliography.
Adrych, P. et al.Images of MithraVisual Conversations in Art and Archaeology, Oxford-New York, 2017. 
Beck, R., The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun, Oxford, 2006. 
Clauss, M., Mithras, Kult und Mysterien, Munich, 1990 (traduction anglaise par R. Gordon, The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and His Mysteries, Edinburgh 2000). 
Cumont, F., Les mystères de Mithra, Bruxelles, 1900 (3e éd. 1913). 
Mastrocinque, A., Des Mystères de Mithra aux Mystères de Jésus, Stuttgart 2009. 
Panagiotidou, O.  et Beck, R., The Roman Mithras Cult. A Cognitive Approach, Londres, 2017. 
Turcan, R., Mithra et le mithriacisme, Paris ,1981 (4e éd. 2004). 
Ulansey, D., The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries. Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World, Oxford, 1989 (2e éd. New York, 1991). 
Vermaseren, M. J., Corpus inscriptionum et monumentorum religionis Mithriacae (CIMRM), La Haye, 1956 et 1960.
Vermaseren, M. J., Mithra, ce dieu mystérieux, Paris-Bruxelles, 1960. 
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Certificat universitaire en langue, littérature et civilisation latines

Master [120] in History of Art and Archaeology : General

Master [120] in History

Master [60] in History

Master [60] in History of Art and Archaeology : General

Master [120] in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Classics

Master [120] in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures