Topography of Ancient Italy (i) (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Patrizia Basso
Patrizia Basso
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 19, 2018 al Jan 12, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course addresses the subject of the relationship that arose between man and the environement in ancient times, with particular reference to the Roman era.
The expected learning outcomes are:
1. Knowledge of the sources, tools and methodologies used in the reconstruction of the ancient environment with particular focus on road networks, agrarian organisation and urban development.
2. Knowledge of the influence of geographical factors on the origin and development of settlements and the environmental changes caused by man.

1. Correct use of basic archaeological terminology, particularly that related to the ancient landscape.
2. Application of an interdisciplinary methodological approach to the reading and interpretation of the ancient world.
3. Analysis and understanding of the main sources employed in historical/archaeological study (literary, epigraphic, material).


The first part of the course will address general topics:
1. the meaning and value of historical topography;
2. the tools and methods for the study and reconstruction of the ancient environment;
3. roman roads: sources and research methodology;
4. centuriation and the rural population;
5. urban structures.
The second part of the course will address these same themes in the context of Roman Venetia, employing, inter alia, concrete applications from research projects in which Patrizia Basso is involved.
There are no prerequisites but it would be preferable that students have a basic knowledge of Roman history and Classical archaeology.
Classroom sessions will involve Powerpoint lectures and the slides will be made available to the students online. An integral part of the course will be a series of guided visits that will be arranged with the students at the start of the course on the basis of their interests and availability,
Students who complete the course will be offered the opportunity to participate in summer fieldwork in Aquileia and the lower Verona plain, under the direction of Patrizia Basso.

Course texts
Lecture notes and illustrative material will be provided on the e-learning platform (PowerPoint of the lectures) and should be used with the following:
1. For the first part of the course (especially for those students that do not attend lectures), the manual G. BONORA, P.L. DALL’AGLIO, S. PATITUCCI, G. UGGERI, La topografia antica, Cleub, Bologna 2000
2. For the second part of the course, the volume J. BONETTO, Veneto, Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia, Libreria dello Stato - Istituito Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Roma 2009 (2 chapters for those that attend lectures and 4 for those that do not – in each case, to be chosen on the basis of personal interests).
Other texts may also be selected with the agreement of the Patrizia Basso.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
G. BONORA, P.L. DALL’AGLIO, S. PATITUCCI, G. UGGERI La topografia antica Cleub 2000 Manuale di riferimento soprattutto per i non frequentanti. Si legga il programma per dettagli
J. Bonetto Veneto, Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia Libreria dello Stato - Istituito Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato 2009 Il testo non va studiato integralmente: vanno scelti alcuni capitoli a seconda degli interessi personali. Si legga il programma per dettagli informativi

Assessment methods and criteria

The objective of the exam is to verify the achievement of the previously specified expected learning outcomes.
The exam for both the students attending lectures and those not attending will have both written and oral components. The written test will focus on 5 open questions, structured around images from the slides provided online. During the course examples of the type of questions to be asked will be presented. Evaluation of the written work will take into account knowledge, ability to synthesise, and ability to communicate in written form using appropriate terminology.
Once the students have passed the written exam, each student will present, in a oral exam, on topics related to the second course that the student has chosen on the basis of personal interests. Evaluation will take into account knowledge, skills demonstrated and capacity to express oneself orally using appropriate terminology. The final grade will be the average of those achieved in the two tests.