The Roman Collegia

The Modern Evolution of an Ancient Concept


This volume maintains that contemporary events, ideologies, and institutions have shaped scholarly work on the ancient Roman collegia, a group of institutions known principally from epigraphic and legal sources. It traces the origins of thinking on the subject from the creation of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum through the political and social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries in Western Europe. The bulk of the book focuses particularly on the intersection of scholarship and economic theory in Fascist Italy, as the collegia were analysed by the Istituto di Studi Romani, incorporated into the Mostra Augustea della Romanità, and ultimately championed by the Minister of National Education, Giuseppe Bottai, in 1939.

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Jonathan S. Perry, Ph.D. (1999), University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Florida. He has published several articles, particularly on the interpretation of ancient history in the modern world.
"… this volume [..] provides us with intriguing insights into parts of that history, and will prove valuable for those interested in this aspect of Roman history as well as the role it played in Italy in the first half of the 20th century. […]… readers should be grateful to Perry for presenting this part of the history of research on the collegia." – Torrey Seland, in: BMCR, 2007
"Gleichwohl bleibt hervorzuheben, dass Perry durch seine Fremdsprachenkenntnisse überzeugt; gerade die englischen Übersetzungen deutscher, italienischer und französischer Zitate machen die für die Argumentation wichtigen Texte einem breiten Leserkreis zugänglich. Auch ist der Fokus einer wissenschaftshistorischen Untersuchung auf ein Phänomen, dessen Behandlung man durch die Zeit hindurch verfolgt, ertragreich." – Dorothea Rohde, in: Sehepunkte, 2008
Chapter One: Theodor Mommsen’s ‘collegia funeraticia’ and the search for Christian origins in the nineteenth century
Chapter Two: Jean-Pierre Waltzing’s ‘professional associations’ and the legacy of
Christian democracy
Chapter Three: Collegia and Corporativismo in Fascist Italy
Chapter Four: Collegia, the Institute of Roman Studies, and ‘Romanità’
Chapter Five: Collegia, race, and Roman heritage under Giuseppe Bottai
Chapter Six: Socialism and sociability: The collegia since 1945
Conclusion: Autumn Journal, Bottai’s journal, and the relevance of Rome
Epigraphic Index
General Index
All those interested in the history of scholarship in modern Europe and the politicisation of culture in Fascist Italy, as well as specialists in ancient Roman history and Latin epigraphy.