CARMEN investigates communal verbal art in the Roman Empire using a complex and integrated methodology that draws on the application of best practice in the involved disciplines (philology, linguistics, history, epigraphy, digital humanities, and archaeology) and incor­porates approaches in relevant adjacent fields, which are not commonly implemented with sufficient rigour in the field of classical scholarship.

Present-day insights into the effects of imperialism and colonialism, of marginalisation and exclusion, of migration and of self-conceptualisation provide new perspectives for the investigation of the past. Using the potential of this paradig­matic change, CARMEN applies this understanding of the values of diversity to those parts of ancient Rome’s ver­bal art, which were publicly exposed. Our innovative reconceptualization of Roman carmina will be an important step to democratise contemporary perceptions of art and to unlock the potential for understanding the heterogeneity of social and cultural performance.

In order to achieve its goals, CARMEN has three research objectives:

  • Identification of regional specifics and conditions for the production and display of verse inscriptions in the Roman Empire and its immediate successors from c. 300 BCE to 600 CE,
  • Laying foundations for an inclusive perspective of societal diversity based on a deeper understanding of the connection between Roman poetry and its visualised cultural expressions,
  • Starting an innovative approach for analysing aesthetic standards in historical and contemporary contexts.

These objectives will be pursued by an interdisciplinary team of 11 ESRs, subdivided into 4 small teams of 2–3 researchers each. These teams correspond to 4 Work Packages related to digitisation (WP 4), editorial praxeology (WP 5), material and heritage studies (WP 6) and to the analysis of the impact of social contexts and determinants for cultural production (WP 7).