10 Dezember 2012
  • Lecture

From the Papal states to "Roma Capitale": Prisons in Nineteenth-Century Italy

When Rome became the capital of Italy in 1870, it inherited a disparate system of prisons located in ancient Roman baths, medieval monasteries, early modern workhouses, and aristocratic villas. Mary Gibson will map the geography of Roman prisons and analyze the evolution of policies of punishment toward men, women, and children during the fifty years after unification.


Under Papal rule and continuing into the twentieth century, Roman prisons clustered in the center of the city and, more specifically, along the Tiber river. This integration into the urban fabric made prisons central to popular conceptions of Rome, inspiring proverbs and songs about the experience of incarceration in working-class life. Thus, prisons offer an interesting point from which to view the period during which the “second Rome” of the Popes gave way to the “third Rome” of the new liberal state.Gender will be central to the analysis of the temporal dimension of the Roman prison system, as some Papal prisons were abandoned, some reformed, and still others built anew. Subordinated to their husbands in civil law, Italian women were also left behind in penal reform, which assigned them to the sphere of religion/ charity rather than to the more modern world of rights and work. Therefore, the treatment of prisoners in the new capital reveals much about gender and the legal construction of citizenship during the transition from Papal to parliamentary rule.

Weitere Informationen zu Mary Gibson

Ort: IFK