IN-ROME - The INscribed city: urban structures and interaction in ROME

ID Call: ERC-2021-ADG ERC Advanced Grant


Sapienza's role in the project: Other beneficiary

Scientific supervisor for Sapienza: Silvia Orlandi

Department: Ancient World Studies


Project start date: December 1, 2022

Project end date: November 30, 2027 






Rome as the first-ever mega-city reaching c.1 million inhabitants in the early empire (1st cent. BCE), remains an enigma regarding the way it organized itself and maintained that size for over three centuries. Having long outgrown the 4th-cent. BCE city walls, the urbanistic structures that developed outside of these, and especially outside the later Aurelian Wall, have never been studied systematically and holistically. IN-ROME aims to fill this fundamental gap. It will describe for the first time how different parts of the
 population (ethnicities, status groups, genders) and their activities map onto the city’s surroundings via military stations, association seats, sanctuaries, production sites, mines, agriculture, retail, baths, guesthouses, tombs and villas. Translating topographical relations
 into social ones, aims significantly to enhance our understanding of the city’s social fabric. Methodologically, IN-ROME breaks new ground by unlocking the enormous potential of inscriptions for our understanding of Rome’s urban development and social fabric through virtual re-contextualisation and statistical analysis. The authoritative Epigraphic
 Database Roma will be extended to include all Latin and Greek inscriptions with known or probable provenance (totalling c.50,000). They will be linked to Rome’s most sophisticated Digital Archaeological Cadastre, SITAR, via a newly created map layer of the 17th-20th century.
 properties (the main historic reference to location). These new resources will allow the exploration of topographical patterns of activities on an unprecedented scale, revolutionising access to a vast pool of historic information and restoring Rome’s people to their landscape.

Sapienza University of Rome cooperates with the goals of the IN-ROME project in two different ways:

  •  putting at disposal information included in the epigraphic database EDR (Epigraphic Database Roma:, whose aim is the digitalization of Greek and Latin inscriptions of ancient Italy according to the best existing edition. This huge amount of information will be further implemented during the project, including thousands of inscriptions of Rome, whose topographic and archaeological context is known or can be reconstructed;
  •  contributing to the creation of the digital interface that will link epigraphic data and digital maps.

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