Spaces of Roman Constitutionalism 26.-28.9.2019

"Spaces of Roman Constitutionalism" conference, Konsistori Hall, University of Helsinki main building (room 2002), Fabianinkatu 33, 00170 Helsinki

Preliminary programme (please note that the programme is still subject to change)

Thursday 26.9.2019

12:00-13:00 Keynote: Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp (Köln): Governing a City-State. Magistrates, Assemblies and Public Space in Republican Rome

13:15-15:45 Session 1: Magistrates, assemblies and the transformation of the political spaces
Session chair: Kaius Tuori

Anna-Maria Wilskman: How to start your career as a politician – visibility and support available for the young Roman magistrates
Martin Sunnqvist: Cum veritate et legum? – The Oath of Judges in Ancient Rome

Coffee break (30 mins)

Alberto Barrón Ruiz de la Cuesta: Among priests and magistrates: towards the function of the seviri Augustales
Márlio Aguiar: Iurisdictio, ius dicere and ius dicentis officium in Roman legal tradition between the Republic and the Principate

Coffee break (30 mins)

16:15-17:45 Session 2: Information about administration
Session chair: Antonio Garcia Lopez

Tuuli Ahlholm: Public figures? The display of numerical state information and the values of Roman Republicanism
Kaius Tuori: TBC
Alexei Zadorojnyi: Exempla and the City: Topography of Power in Valerius Maximus

18:30 Dinner for the speakers

Friday 27.9.2019

10:00-11:00 Keynote: Harriet Flower (Princeton): In domo gravissimae feminae: Space for Politics in Houses owned by Women

11:15-12:45 Session 3: Physical spaces of administration
Session chair: Emilia Mataix Ferrandiz

Roman M. Frolov: Invisible but Inviolable? The pomerium, the Sphere domi, and Pompeius as a Promagistrate in 57–52 BC
Jessica Bartz: Multivalence of urban spaces in Rome. The transformation of spaces on behalf of temporal structures and their chronological development
Antonio Garcia Lopez: TBC

Lunch for the speakers

14:45-16:15 Session 4: Mental and conceptual space
Session chair: Samuli Simelius

Vesa Heikkinen: TBC
Marsha McCoy: A Res Publica of Letters? Spaces of Roman Constitutionalism and the Circulation of Cicero’s Correspondence in the Late Republic
Hannah Cornwell: From the outside looking in: diplomatic approaches to Roman constitutional space

Coffee break (30 mins)

16:45-17:45 Keynote: Catherine Steel (Glasgow): TBC

18:30 Dinner for the speakers

Saturday 28.9.2019

10:00-11:00 Keynote: Clifford Ando (Chicago): TBC

11:15-12:45 Session 5: Social space
Session chair: Vesa Heikkinen

Samuli Simelius: TBC
Joel Allen: Public Space at Nighttime in the Roman Republic
Brendan McCarthy: Vici: The Shape of Rome’s Social Bubbles

Lunch for the speakers

14:45-16:15: Session 6: Drawing the distinction between public and private space
Session chair: Heta Björklund

Guilhem Bartolotti: Evergetism towards collegia in Roman imperial period: the particular case of pollicitationes
Eliza Gettel: Koina as nesting public spheres within the Roman empire
Darja Šterbenc Erker: Augustus' appropriation of public and private spaces

Coffee break (30 mins)

16:45-17:45 Session 7: Spaces of exclusion and intersectionality
Session chair: Anna-Maria Wilskman

Josiah Osgood: Terentia and the Bona Dea: Women's Space in the Roman Constitution
Lewis Webb: Qui hic mos est in publicum procurrendi? Reconsidering female presence and visibility in public and sacred spaces in Republican Rome

18:30 Dinner for the speakers


Call for papers
From the fora to the assemblies and beyond, public space in ancient Rome was both political and contested, reflecting changing notions of community, citizenship and the values and norms behind them. The purpose of this conference is to explore the political, cultural and legal notions of public space and public realm in Rome. By observing the place of magistrates in the public spaces of Rome and more generally in the ideas behind Republican governance, it seeks to question and unpack the notions that have been built into the concept of Roman republican governance. On one hand we have the notion of Republicanism and public law, which has a rich history of modernizing interpretations and reuses in European history. On the other, there is the equally rich tradition of rituals, ceremonies, religious convictions and beliefs that surround the practices of governance. By examining the spacial aspect, how these were situated and interlinked and how public and private spaces and roles intermingled, we are hoping to shed new light into cultural and social dimension of Roman republicanism and its transformation from the Republic to the Principate. By setting ideas into their dynamic spatial, social and cultural contexts, we hope to subvert the traditional story of Roman constitutionalism.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Harriet Flower (Princeton), Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp (Köln), Catherine Steel (Glasgow), Clifford Ando (Chicago).

The organizers invite paper proposals for a number of central themes relating to the topic. The themes are:
- magistrates, assemblies and the transformation of the political spaces
- spaces of administration and memory
- religious institutions, collegia and the intermingling between the civic and religious spheres
- invisible borders and divisions in the public sphere
- the Republican domus, its connections with and role as a model of administrative space
- spaces of exclusion and intersectionality
- comparative studies on public space in the ancient world
- the reception of the Roman republicanist thought and practice

The abstract should be max. 400 words long and be accompanied by a short 1 page CV.

The conference is organized by the research project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw,, funded by the European Research Council. There is no conference fee. The organizers are unfortunately unable to aid in either travel or accommodation arrangements or the cost of travel or accommodation.

The deadline for abstracts is January 25th, 2019. The proposals should be sent to