‘Let them eat cake!’ Surviving poverty in late antique Rome

British School at Rome
via Antonio Gramsci 61

Data evento
8 May 2024

Poverty was a ubiquitous phenomenon in ancient Rome, a constant feature in the city-scape. The threat of poverty haunted the vast majority of the population of the Urbs, shaping their social lives, expectations, and relations. Poverty was a defining element in the making of the late antique city, marking its social hierarchies and its spaces. This lecture will examine what made the experience of poverty different in late antique Rome, what poverty drivers impacted life in the city, and how different social groups responded to them.  It will argue that, rather than marginal, it was a key element in how late antique Rome’s urban space was defined and experienced.