History School of the Sorbonne

With 76 full members (49 teacher/researchers and CNRS researchers, and 13 ITA and BIATSS), the ANHIMA Center covers the study of ancient Mediterranean societies very broadly. This study includes territorial and political organization, material environment, belief systems and practices, cultures, and knowledge and traditions, where text and images intersect. Our research combines the technical expertise of firsthand work on ancient sources with broader historical and anthropological approaches. This combination reflects our openness to the social sciences and comparative studies, so as to understand ancient cultures from within, on their own terms, and with respect to their cultural uniqueness. The ANHIMA Center thus also welcomes specialists on societies other than Greece and Rome (the Jewish world, Ancient India, and more).

The programme “Knowledge and Memories of the Roman Republic” proposes to study an a priori classical theme – the definition of the Roman republican city as a hegemonic power – from an original angle, the progressive structuring of an imperial culture of government among Roman aristocrats. By imperial culture is meant both the body of knowledge (institutional, administrative, legal and technical) essential to the exercise of imperium over a geographical space destined, in the conceptions of time, to extend indefinitely, and the historical memory of past military successes (conquest of the Italian peninsula, then of the Mediterranean basin), which founded the idea of Roman superiority and legitimated future undertakings. The development of this imperial culture is examined through various dossiers that deal, on the one hand, with the often conflicting stages of the unification of Italy and, on the other hand, with the administration of the provinces, and work is done in particular on the capacities for innovation that were germinating in this imperial culture.