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Rumour and power in Ancient Rome: comparative studies on informal communication in the last century of the Republic and in Late Antiquity

Grant number: 19/01997-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal Investigator:Julio Cesar Magalhães de Oliveira
Grantee:Julio Cesar Magalhães de Oliveira
Host: Laubry Nicolas
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : École Française de Rome, Italy  

Abstract

This research project should be carried out as part of a stay at the École Française de Rome from September 2019 to February 2020. It is also part of a research project aimed at drafting an Habilitation Thesis, to be defended at the University of São Paulo in 2020. This is a study about the different uses of rumours in religious conflicts of Late Antiquity, based on a comparative analysis with the informal communication in Rome at the end of the Republic. My hypothesis is that while they function at all times as an alternative medium for the expression of political opinions, particularly for groups dominated or incapable of imposing their point of view, rumours find a greater resonance in the public scene in contexts of mass mobilization. In confronting the role of rumours in the religious controversies of the fourth and fifth centuries with the place that these "improvised news" occupy in the political struggles of the late Republic, my goal is to identify similarities and differences in patterns of mobilization of public opinion by faction leaders involved in these disputes, but also to study the popular perceptions of these same struggles.