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Marching on Rome: Contesting the Eternal City through the Centuries

October 28, 2022
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

A conference focusing on the challenges throughout Italian history to Rome's central position of authority in the peninsula.

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October 28, 2022 marks the centenary of Mussolini’s March on Rome and the Fascist accession to power. Yet the Fascists were not the first, nor the last, to stage a symbolic assault on the Eternal City; indeed, marches on Rome have been a mainstay of Italian political life for centuries. For figures as diverse as Julius Caesar, Cola di Rienzo, Petrarch, Charles V, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Umberto Bossi and Beppe Grillo, the Urbs Caput Mundi has variously served as a prize, a source of inspiration, and a nemesis. Marching on Rome is a tradition since antiquity that has inspired medieval, early modern, and modern versions of this important political ritual.

In its first standalone conference, cosponsored with the Italian Academy at Columbia University, the Society of Italian Historical Studies (SIHS) seeks to investigate Rome’s function as a contested space—both symbolic and physical—across the longue durée of Italian history. 

Organizers: Ernest Ialongo (Hostos Community College, CUNY), Molly Tambor (Long Island University; Chair of the Columbia Seminar in Modern Italian Studies), Paula Findlen (Stanford University; Chair of the SIHS), Marla Stone (Occidental College), Roy Domenico (University of Scranton), Joshua Arthurs (University of Toronto), Brian Griffith (UCLA)

Sponsors: Columbia University Seminars; Stanford University; The Italian Academy; Columbia Seminar in Modern Italian Studies