Space and Governance: Towards a New Topography of Roman Administration 21.-22.5.2021

"Space and Governance: Towards a New Topography of Roman Administration" conference, 21-22 May 2021. The conference is organized online on Zoom.


Webinar ID: 670 0679 6703

Passcode: 487193

There is no registration, the conference is open for all.

You can read the abstracts of the presentations (pdf, opens in a new tab):


All the times in the programme are Finnish time (GMT+3). Please adjust according to your time zone.

Friday 21 May 2021

10:30-11:30 Keynote

Chair: Kaius Tuori & Antonio Lopez Garcia

Paolo Liverani (Università degli Studi di Firenze): The administration of the imperial property under Constantine and the Liber Pontificalis

11:45-13:15 Session 1: Magistrates & administration

Chair: Kaius Tuori

Timothy Smith (University of Oxford): The Topography of the Aedileship in the Fourth and Third Centuries BC

Ben White (University of Nottingham): Aediles, porticus, and the organisation of mid-Republican Rome: the case of the Porta Trigemina

Anthony Álvarez Melero (University of Seville): Between private and public: women’s presence in procuratorial praetoria

14:15-15:45 Session 2: All roads lead to Rome. Infrastructure & transport

Chair: Antonio Lopez Garcia

Juhana Heikonen and Kaius Tuori (University of Helsinki): The Administrative Topography of Rome: Mapping administrative space and the spatial dynamics of Roman Republicanism

Riccardo Montalbano: Managing the urban street network of ancient Rome from Early Republic to Late Antique

Samuli Simelius (University of Helsinki): Moving magistrates in the Roman city space

16:15-18:15 Session 3: Archives & administration

Chair: Anna-Maria Wilskman

Bradley Jordan (Universität zu Köln): Civic archives and Roman rule: Spatial aspects of Roman hegemony in Asia Minor from Republic to Empire

Antonio Lopez Garcia (University of Helsinki): How was the headquarters of Praefectura Urbis during the empire? A review of written sources and archaeology

Kaius Tuori (University of Helsinki): Roman administrative space: Questioning established models and preconceptions

Marco Brunetti (Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute): Scholae and collegia: the non-official administration in Roman Italy from the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD

Saturday 22 May 2021

11:00-12:00 Keynote

Chair: Samuli Simelius

Elena Isayev (University of Exeter): Who needs places of publicness in Ancient Italy?

12:15-13:15 Session 4: State & individual

Chair: Vesa Heikkinen

Lina Girdvainyte (Université Bordeaux Montaigne): An imperial estate in Augustan Thessaly: The emergence of imperial financial administration in the public province of Achaia

Anna-Maria Wilskman (University of Helsinki): There and back again: The Mobility of Roman Magistrates

14:15-15:15 Session 5: Monuments & games

Chair: Samuli Simelius

Jessica Bartz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): A measure of economy? The organisation of public games in the city of Rome and the transformation of the urban design

Marlee Miller (New York University): School Masters: Imperial Administration of the Ludus Gladiatorius

15:45-16:45 Session 6: Imperial structures

Chair: Antonio Lopez Garcia

Ashton J. Fancy (Princeton University): Manipulating Rome’s Topographical and Political Landscapes through the Republican Pomerium

Andrei Y. Markelov (Moscow City Pedagogical University): The Curia Iulia and Augustan Ideology

Call for papers

The purpose of the conference is to explore the transformation of public space and administrative activities in Republican and Imperial Rome through an interdisciplinary exploration of the topography of power. The emergence of the Roman Republic produced a reorganization of the administrative structures, leading to the emergence of various entities and institutions responsible for organization and governance of Rome, its civic life and public spaces. In different ways, this spatial model was exported to the colonies with the expansion of the Republic. Throughout the Roman world, building projects created spaces, the topography of the city, for different civic purposes: for the meetings of assemblies, senate meetings, the administration of justice, the public treasury, and the management of the city through different magistracies, offices and even archives. These administrative spaces –open and closed– characterized the Roman life throughout the Republic and High Empire, until the profound administrative and judicial transformations of the Dominate. This conference aims to study the public and private spaces related to administration through the urban development, the existing interrelation between the different administrative bodies, the analysis of the architecture of the spaces already discovered and the study of the written sources. We will try to find an answer to the dilemmas such as where did the administration work? Were there offices and where were they located? Were there social class differences between the different levels of administration?


•    Urban development and dynamics related to the expansion of the administration

•    New discoveries on the institutions and spaces of Roman administration

•    Architecture of spaces for public meetings and trials: Assemblies, Senate, courtrooms, basilicas

•    Private spaces in the administration: Residences of magistrates and the elite

•    Magistracies, offices and archives

•    Epigraphy related to the Roman administration

•    Development of institutions between early Republic and Late Antiquity

•    New methodologies in Roman topography

•    Gender, intersectionality and public space

Keynote speakers: Paolo Liverani (Università degli Studi di Firenze) and Elena Isayev (University of Exeter).

The conference is organized by the ERC-funded project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw), based at the University of Helsinki. 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.

Abstracts should be 300 words maximum, for 20-minute papers to be delivered in English. Abstracts should be sent to The deadline for abstracts is 1 December 2019.

Questions may be sent to Antonio Lopez Garcia (