DSBcB027 The Unrelenting World: Labour, Violence, and Death in Ancient Roman Society

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Mgr. Tereza Antošovská (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Jarmila Bednaříková, CSc.
Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Erlebachová
Supplier department: Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
each even Monday 16:00–17:40 A21
( SOUHLAS ) && (! DSBcB27 The Unrelenting World )
*** WARNING *** The course under this code is meant for students, who matriculated in 2018 or in previous years, only. All the others must be enrolled under the new code DSBcB27.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 1/30, only registered: 0/30
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to introduce students to the dark side of the ancient world and to the reality of everyday life. A part of the course will be also a work with relevant primary texts for the purpose of approaching the perspective of the ancient citizen and of practicing the student’s ability to analyse historical sources.
Learning outcomes
Students will get practical experience with primary sources and analysis of historical sources. This experience they excercise in final essay (with the excercise of the abilities of interpretation, argumentation and writing skills).
  • Work, violence and death belong to the fundamental phenomena of every human society, but their perception and meaning differ in each society. What was the concept of labour in the Roman society? How did the world of work and leisure varied – conceptually as well as in fact – for the elite and common people, adults and children, free citizens and slaves? What do we know about the perception, function and prosecuting of violence in a society which had public killing as a popular form of entertainment? And finally, how were dying and death perceived, as a human faced them due to the high mortality rate already from tender age and more often than today?
  • 1) The idea of work and profession (attitudes to manual x intellectual work, view and “professions” of an elite society, concept of “free time”)
  • 2) A silent majority: labour from childhood to old age (apprenticeship, free citizens x slaves, city x countryside)
  • 3) Brutality around: public violence (crime and punishment, games, wars)
  • 4) Domestic violence: boundaries of acceptable physical punishments and brutality
  • 5) On a way to death: health, disease and dying
  • 6) Culture of death: perception of death and afterlife
  • viz studijní materiály a doporučená literatura na základě vybraného tématu
  • The murder of Regillaa case of domestic violence in antiquity. Edited by Sarah B. Pomeroy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007. 249 p. ISBN 0674025830. info
  • NUTTON, Vivian. Ancient medicine. London: Routledge, 2005. xiii, 486. ISBN 0415368480. info
  • Rome at warfarms, families, and death in the Middle Republic. Edited by Nathan Stewart Rosenstein. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004. x, 339 p. ISBN 0807828394. info
  • Spectacles of death in ancient Rome. Edited by Donald G. Kyle. New York: Routledge, 1998. xii, 288 p. ISBN 0415096782. info
  • Geschichte des privaten Lebens. Edited by Paul Veyne - Holger Fliessbach. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 1989. 621 s. ISBN 3100336313. info
Teaching methods
Lectures, reading primary texts and interpreting them
Assessment methods
Active participation; essay on chosen topic
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2017, Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/autumn2020/DSBcB027