Centre for Roman Studies
Prof. Ioan Piso (director), Prof. Radu Ardevan, Dr. Rada Varga, Dr. Annamária - Izabella Pázsint, Lecturer Carmen Fenechiu, Lecturer Bogdan Neagota, PhD students: Mátyás Bajusz, Adrian-Viorel Martin, Jozsef Mátyás, Dorottya Nyulas, Szilamer Peter Pánczél.
Additionally, the Centre has also external collaborators, having as goal to bring together some of the best specialists in the field, in order to create a national scientific network. At the moment the external collaborators are: dr. Adrian Ardeț (MJERG Caransebeș), dr. Vitalie Bârcă (IAIA Cluj), dr. Felix Marcu (MNIT Cluj), dr. Florian Matei-Popescu (IA București), dr. Lucrețiu Mihailescu-Bîrliba (UAIC Iași), dr. Csaba Szabó (University of Szeged), dr. Călin Timoc (MNaB Timișoara), dr. Ovidiu Țentea (MNIR București).
The Centre for Romanian Studies was created as a research institute of the Babeș-Bolyai University in 2006. At the basis of the initiative are the members of the research team of the contract 2CEx 06-8-67/26.07.2006, funded by the National Authority for Scientific Research (ANCS), through the CERES Programme. Thus, they also become members of the newly founded institute, and the project leader, Prof. Dr. Ioan Piso, becomes the director of the research centre.
The main objectives of the Centre for Roman Studies are to deepen the history of Roman Dacia and to align the archaeology of this province to the European archaeological standards, on the scientific level, and in terms of human resources for young researchers and PhD students to be professionally guided and trained.
The research of the Centre for Roman Studies focuses mostly on the history and archaeology of Roman Dacia. There is a classical studies component, focusing on epigraphy, interpretation of sources, as well as an actual archaeology component, aimed at providing primary material sources. Their interpretation and the exploitation of the results through publications are one of the main aims of the members of the Centre. Researches also focus on the position of Dacia in the Empire and how this Danube province was integrated into Roman structures.
The Centre supports the idea that emphasis should be placed on resolving all aspects of provincial Roman history and on making complex monographic studies accessible to all researchers. Conferences are the surest way to get in touch with the European scientific world and to make the results of our research known. The organisation of these conferences is one of the major objectives of the Centre.
Among the main research topics that the members have focused on up to now we mention:
- History and Field archaeology of Roman Dacia: Prof. Ioan Piso participates in the excavations at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa along with PhD student Jozsef Mátyás, and with dr. Vitalie Bârcă (IAIA Cluj), dr. Felix Marcu (MNIT Cluj), dr. Florian Matei-Popescu (IA București), dr. Ovidiu Țentea (MNIR București). Dr. Rada Varga participates in those at Războieni, as members of the coordinating teams of each archaeological project. Most of the PhD students have been also actively engaged in excavations at different archaeological sites (e.g. Porolissum, Călugăreni, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa etc.).
- Prosopography of both eastern and western part of the empire: Dr. Rada Varga and Dr. Annamária - Izabella Pázsint coordinate the Romans 1by1 prosopographical database (http://romans1by1.com/). The focus is on the Danubian provinces of the Roman Empire and the North and West Pontic area.
- Digital Classics: Dr. Rada Varga and Dr. Annamária - Izabella Pázsint implement various DH and digital classics programs. Both have organised workshops in this area and R. Varga runs several courses on digital classics. Additionally, they both integrate this component in their researches.
- Numismatics: Prof. Radu Ardevan conducts studies and is responsible for teaching the specialist course.
- Roman provincial communities: Prof. Ioan Piso coordinated a national project on this topic (2017-2019), in which several members of the Centre took part. However, this field of research remains open.
Additionally, the research of members is also focused on the History of the Roman world; Publication of Roman Inscriptions; Military history; Imperial administration; Religions and mentalities; Social structures; Ancient historiography and classical languages.
Selected members’ publications
- I. Piso, L’inscription de Villadecanes et le dies Iovis en Espagne Tarraconnaise, Cahiers Glotz 28, Paris 2017, 135-150.
- I. Piso, War die Eroberung Dakiens eine Notwendigkeit?, in: Columna Traiani. Traianssäule – Siegesmonument und Kriegsbericht in Bildern (Hrsg. Fritz Mitthof, Günther Schörner) = Tyche, Sonderband 9, Wien 2017, 333-342.
- I. Piso, Das verhängnisvolle Jahr 262 und die amissio Daciae, in: Proceedings of the first International Roman and Late Antique Thrace Conference. "Cities, Territories and Identities" (Plovdiv, 3rd-7thOctober 2016, éd. L. Vagalinski, M. Raycheva, D. Boteva, N. Sharankov), Sofia 2018, p. 427-440.
- I. Piso, Kleinasiatische Götter und Kolonisten in Dakien, in Gephyra 15, 2018, p. 37-70.
- I. Piso, Bemerkungen zu Dexippos Vindobonensis (II), in: Empire in Crisis, Wien 2020, 337-355.
- I. Piso, Kaiser Decius als restitutor Daciarum, in Panegyrikoi logoi. Festschrift für Johannes Nollé zum 65. Geburtstag, Bonn, 2019, 53-61.
- I. Piso, C. Szabó, Die Gottin Hekate in Sarmizegetusa, in L. Mihailescu-Bîrliba (ed.), Limes, Economy and Society in the Lower Danubian Roman Provinces, Colloquia Antiqua 25, Peeters, Leuven, 2019, 139-158.
- I. Piso, A. Ardeț, C. Timoc, Inscriptiones Daciae Romanae. Appendix 3: Inscriptiones laterum museorum Banatus Temesiensis, Mega, Cluj-Napoca, 2019.
- I. Piso, C. Oprean, Eine Weihung aus Porolissum für das Wohl des Severischen Kaiserhauses, ZPE 209, 2019, 295-296.
- I. Piso, Si defit aurum: l’initiation dans un Serapeum de Sarmizegetusa, in L. Bricault, R. Veymiers (eds.), Bibliotheca Isiaca IV, Bordeaux, 2020, 127-137.
- R. Varga, C. Crizbășan, The impact of the Batavian auxiliaries on the community at Războieni-Cetate (Alba County). Case study: the ceramic artefacts in L. Mihailescu-Bîrliba (ed.), Limes, Economy and Society in the Lower Danubian Roman Provinces, Colloquia Antiqua 25, Peeters, Leuven, 2019, 139-162.
- R. Varga, Carving a professional identity, Archaeopress, Oxford 2020.
- R. Varga, The nature of Roman dominion over the province of Dacia. Notes on the Romanization phenomenon and its limits, Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology, 8.4, 2021, 47-55.
- R. Varga, A. Pázsint, I. Boda, D. Deac, Romans 1 by 1. Overview of a Research Project, Digital Classics Online 4.2, 2018, 37-63.
- A. Pázsint, Notes on the family links from Lower Moesia, Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology 6.4, 2019, 110-117.
- A. Pázsint, Life After Honesta Missio: A Demographic and Social Perspective on the Veterans from Moesia Inferior, in L. Mihailescu-Bîrliba, W. Spickermann (ed.), Roman Army and Local Society in the Limes Provinces of the Roman Empire. Papers of an International Conference, Iași, June 4th-6th, 2018, Verlag Marie Leidorf GmbH, Rahden/Westf., 2019, 1-33.
- C. Găzdac, G. Bounegru, R. Varga, Paying and saving in gold in the Roman army the aureus of Vespasian from Războieni-Cetate and the evidence of gold coins in Roman Dacia (Romania), Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology 7.2, 2020, 94-102.
- C. Fenechiu, D. L. C. Munteanu, Coșbuc as Translator and Poet, A Handbook to Classical Reception in Eastern and Central Europe, Wiley Blackwell, 2018, 287.
- M. Fiedler, E. Shehi S. Pánczél, G. Döhner, Die Kleinsiedlung Babunjë. Neue Forschungen zur territorialen Siedlungsstruktur zwischen Apollonia und Epidamnos/Dyrrhachion (Albanien), Archäologischer Anzeiger, 2019, 1-43.
- B. Neagota, I. Benga, O. Benga, On the substantial contribution of "contempt" as a folk affect concept to the history of the European popular institution of charivari, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, 2017, E244.
- R. Ardevan, La Dacie sur une intaille antique, in A. Bouet, Catherine Petit-Aupert (éd.), Bibere, ridere, gaudere, studere, hoc est vivere. Hommages à Francis Tassaux, Bordeaux, Ed. Ausonius, 2018, p. 397-402.
- R. Ardevan, Einige Inschriften aus Inlăceni (Dakien), in Dilyana Boteva-Boyanova, P. Delev, Julia Tzvetkova (eds.), Society, Kings, Gods. In memoriam professoris Margaritae Tachevae, Sofia, 2018, p. 533-542.
- V. Bârcă, Nomazi ai stepelor. Sarmații timpurii în spațiul Nord-Pontic (sec. II-I a. Chr.). Nomads of steppes. The early Sarmatians in the north-Pontic region (2nd-1st c. BC).
- V. Bârcă, Sarmatian vestiges discovered south of the Lower Mureș River: the graves from Hunedoara Timișană and Arad, Cluj-Napoca, Mega, 2014.
- L. Mihailescu-Bîrliba, Rure vivere in Moesia Inferiore. La population dans le milieu rural d’une province péripherique de l’Empire romain, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2018.
- L. Mihailescu-Bîrliba, Colonization and Romanization in Moesia Inferior. Premises of a contrastive approach, Parthenon Verlag, 2015.
- F. Matei-Popescu, O. Țentea, Auxilia Moesiae Superioris, Cluj-Napoca, Mega, 2018.
- O. Țentea, Bath and Bathing at Alburnus Maior, Cluj-Napoca, Mega, 2016.
- F. Matei-Popescu, Armata romană în Moesia Inferior, București, 2010.
- F. Marcu, Organizarea internă a castrelor din Dacia. The internal planning of Roman forts of Dacia, Cluj-Napoca, Mega, 2009.
- F. Marcu, Recent developments in the fort of Bologa and on the northwestern Dacian limes, Dacia n.s. 59, 2015, 67-82.
- A. Ardeț, Tibiscum. Ceramic romană descoperită la Iaz „Traianu”, Cluj-Napoca, Mega, 2009.
- C. Timoc, Descoperirile arheologice de epocă romană de la Ramna (județul Caraș-Severin) și prima colaborare științifică între muzeele bănățene din Timișoara și Reșița, Banatica 28, 2018, 1222-0612.
- C. Szabó, Sanctuaries in Roman Dacia. Materiality and Religious Experience, Oxford, 2018.
- Conferences and international events (co-)organized during the last 5 years:
- XVI workshop FERCAN (Fontes Epigraphici Religionum Celticarum Antiquarum) Cluj-Napoca, 5-7 July 2019.
- Defending the polis – defending the empire. The Ancient Greek and Roman Military Strategy and the Inscriptions (Epigraphic Roundtable), Debrecen, 17-18 October 2019.
- Digital ancient history and archaeology workshop, 14-15 June 2018, Cluj-Napoca.
- Digital approaches to regionality in the western provinces, 2 November 2018, London (co-organized by A. Mullen, R. Varga, P. Granados-Garcia) https://ics.sas.ac.uk/events/event/17466
- Selected presentations at international conferences, invited lectures:
- R Varga, A. Pázsint, I. Boda, Romans 1 by 1. Insights into a Prosopographical Database, 12th Celtic Conference in Classics, Coimbra, 26-29 June 2019.
- I. Piso, Bemerkungen zu Dexippos Vindobonensis. Die Ereignisse vor der Schlacht bei Abrittus, invited lecture at Cologne University, 26 April 2018.
- I. Piso, Dakien im Zeitalter der Soldatenkaiser, invited lecture la Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Viena, 20 November 2018.
- R. Varga, New developments on the prosopography of the Roman provincial world – on individual and collective (self-)representation, invited lecture la ICS Fellows’ Seminars, 31 October 2018, London. https://ics.sas.ac.uk/events/event/17031
- R. Varga, A. Lumezeanu, The process of record linkage on Roman epigraphical sources, European Social Sciensce History Conference, 4-7 April 2018, Belfast.
- Piso, R. Ardevan, R. Varga, A. Pázsint – participare cu lucrări la Congresul Internațional de Epigrafie Greacă și Latină (XV. Internationaler Kongress für Griechische und Lateinische Epigraphik), Viena, August-September 2017.
- I. Piso, Trajan and the Colonia Sarmizegetusa, 4th International Conference on Roman Danubian Provinces, Zagreb, 15-17 November 2017
- R. Varga, Romans 1by1. Epigraphy as a starting point for prosopography and SNA, 4th Historical Networks Research Conference, Turku, 17-20 October 2017. http://www.utu.fi/en/sites/hnr2017/Pages/Programme.aspx
The work of the Centre's members is recognised and appreciated nationally and internationally. In addition to publications in prestigious journals and publishing houses, as well as co-organised events with partners abroad and invited lectures at leading international institutions, the scientometrics are also evidence of this. On Google Scholar, the H-Index is high for most of the full members, with values of 12 (I. Piso), 6 (R. Ardevan), 5 (R. Varga), 3 (S. Pánczél, B. Neagotă) and 2 (C. Fenechiu, A. Pázsint) respectively. The Centre for Romance Studies also supports and encourages the work of the University's young researchers, including among its members doctoral students whose work is promising.
In recent years, the most remarkable collaboration of the Centre for Roman Studies with another UBB Centre is that with DigiHUBB. The link between the two centres is made by Dr. R. Varga, who is a member of both units.
The collaboration has been fruitful at the level of organizing conferences/workshops on the use of digital techniques in classical studies and archaeology. Also, the Romans1by1 database is a successful initiative in the field of digital ancient history (receiving the DH Award 2019 in the Best Dataset category); its implementation and development requires knowledge of both ancient history and classical studies and digital humanities.
We also mention the fact that through its associated members, the Centre for Roman Studies collaborates with one of the most important research and teaching units in the country and abroad, such as the "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iași, the "Vasile Pârvan" Institute of Archaeology in Bucharest, CNRS (L’Année Épigraphique), Cologne University, University of Vienna. Additionally, the members of the Centre have developed scientific networks with specialists from other countries, we mention here only the collaboration with Hungarian colleagues through the constant organisation of epigraphic and archaeological conferences.
The centre's infrastructure consists of the tools necessary for work in the field of ancient history. Thus, we have computers and the necessary peripherals. We also have tools for non-intrusive archaeological research (geo-magnetic and geo-radar measurements), drones and other field equipment for the archaeological research part.
Furthermore, the Centre is the custodian of a library of approximately 6000 volumes of classical studies and ancient history, many of which are reference books, indispensable to the related sub-fields. Most of them are available in Cluj (and some even at a national level) only in our library. Thanks to the visibility and activity of its members, the Centre's library has constantly benefited in recent years from significant donations of books and periodicals. These book donations have significantly increased the Centre’s collection, and among the donors we mention Prof. Hans Heinimann (2007), Prof. Stephen Mitchell, Barbara Mitchell (2015), Prof. Werner Eck (2019), Prof. A. Birley (2021), but also institutions such as the library of the Institute of Classical Studies in London, Université de Lorraine in Nancy with whom there is a constant exchange. The collection is being catalogued by the Lucian Blaga Central University Library and the list of publications can be found at: http://aleph.bcucluj.ro.
Research projects (last 5 years)
- National projects:
- Romans 1 by 1. An insight into the population of Roman Dacia and Moesia, UEFISCDI-TE, 2015 – 2017, PI: R. Varga. http://romans1by1.com
- Communities, statutes and political ideologies in Roman Dacia, 2017 – 2019, UEFISCDI-PCE; PI: I. Piso. http://hiphi.ubbcluj.ro/Community-statutes-ideology/
- Projects financed by UBB:
- R. Varga and A. Pázsint were PIs of GTC grants (Grants for Young Researchers) in 2021.