75657 - Economic History of the Ancient World (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Manuela Mari
  • Credits:: 6
  • SSD: L-ANT/02
  • Language: Italian

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students are expected to know the main methods for the study of the ancient economic phenomena and the economic language and terminology, and to employ different ancient sources in order to analyse relevant economic problems. Students will be able to relate general economic theories and interpretations to specific case studies, analysed through an independent examination of original sources. They will also be able to describe correctly the main economic processes of the ancient world.

Course contents

1. Introduction to the discipline and its definition. Economic thought in the ancient world: some examples. Ancient economies and economic structures.

2. Ancient economy and great sanctuaries.


1. Literary and epigraphic sources discussed during the course and available on virtuale.unibo.it;

2. L. Migeotte, L'economia delle città greche, Roma, Carocci, 2003, pp. 23-109;

3. F. Carlà – A. Marcone, Economia e finanza a Roma, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2011;

4. J.K. Davies, The Origins of the Festivals, especially Delphi and the Pythia, in S. Hornblower – C. Morgan (eds.), Pindar's Poetry, Patrons, and Festivals, Oxford 2007, pp. 47-69;

5. An article chosen between J. Andreau, Markets, fairs and monetary loans: cultural history and economic history in Roman Italy and Hellenistic Greece, in P. Cartledge – E.E. Cohen – L. Foxhall (eds.), Money, Labour and Land. Approaches to the Economies of Ancient Greece, London-New York 2002, pp. 113-129, and M. Di Fazio, Call me Sostratos. 'Empori' e 'santuari emporici' tra economia e religione nell'Italia antica, in M.C. Biella – C. Carlucci – L.M. Michetti (eds.), Produrre per gli dei. L'economia per il sacro nell'Italia preromana (VII-II sec. a.C.), «Scienze dell'Antichità» 28 (2022), pp. 357-376.

A list of the sources read and commented during classes will be available on virtuale.unibo.it at the end of the course. Specific bibliography will be added during the course.

Students who will not be able to attend the lessons have to get in touch with the teacher and prepare a specific syllabus, which will take into account their preparation and general knowledge.

Teaching methods

Students are invited to discuss and to take part in the lessons. A basic knowledge of ancient Greek and Latin is recommended. Students who have never studied Greek can apply to the Dept. of Classics for the admission to the elementary course of this language which usually start in October.

Assessment methods

The exam is oral. It aims at ascertaining the knowledge required for the course (textbooks, topics covered in the lessons with reading of ancient texts). It will include: 1. a question on the texts indicated in the bibliography; 2. a question on the topics covered in the lecture, with reading, translation and commentary of one of the ancient sources examined during the course.

The assessment will test:

- the basic knowledge of the discipline;

- the critical approach to ancient sources and modern historiographical interpretations;

- the ability to communicate orally, in particular skills in synthesis and in logical organization of the topics and the mastery of an appropriate vocabulary.

Students who show a mature understanding of the topics covered in class and/or of the bibliography indicated and the ability to use them critically, expounding them correctly and with correct terminology, will be evaluated at the maximum; a mnemonic knowledge of the subject (especially translations of the texts), counterbalanced by general analytical and framing skills, and a correct but not always appropriate language, will lead to a good evaluation; minimal knowledge of the subject, some gaps in content and/or inappropriate language will receive grades that do not exceed sufficiency; serious or extensive gaps in the knowledge of texts and/or bibliography, inappropriate language, inability to correctly frame the topics covered, and no skills in reading and commenting upon the texts do not allow to pass.

Punctuality to the exams is recommended. Please remind that no students are allowed to give exams out of the public lists.

Teaching tools

All texts commented and discussed with the students during the course will be available on virtuale.unibo.it, and all texts will be shown in the critical edition and, if necessary, on a digital image.

Office hours

See the website of Manuela Mari