Research Seminar: 7 December

On 7 December at 3.00 pm, at the University of Glasgow School of Law, Kirsten Parkin will speak on: 'Intimate Partner Violence and Socialization in Roman Education'. The seminar will take place at 10 The Square, rm 207, and via Zoom.



Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health issue of global proportions: one in three women report having experienced a form of physical or sexual violence during their life (WHO 2022). We have good reason to think that so too IPV was endemic in ancient Rome. This paper examines the salience of IPV in the Latin pedagogical exercise of the controversiae. These exercises were designed to teach their participant persuasive oratory by arguing as the prosecution and/or defence in a case with hypothetical laws and scenarios. What is so striking about the controversiae is that they frequently ask their adolescent participant to imagine that they have committed IPV and then to justify their actions. In this paper, I will first unpack the various scenarios of the controversiae that feature IPV, with a specific focus on actio malae tractationis and adultery related homicide. Then, drawing on a range of modern studies on the role of education and exposure to interpersonal violence, I question what it meant to be educated in and with intimate partner violence.


Kirsten Parkin is the law school's Alan Rodger Postgraduate Visitor for 2022.


First published: 28 November 2022

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