The Author proposes a new reading of classical scholars, who in the last fifty years have analysed the relevance of the "time" factor on the identification of the typical category of subordinate work. In the 50s, a book by Renato Corrado is on line with the free trade policy of the time. At the end of the 60s, a long essay of Luciano Spagnuolo Vigorita stigmatizes the case law which enlarges the ambit of operation of labour law. In the mid 80s, a book by Pietro Ichino faces the demand of flexibility which comes from the enterprises. A few years later, the Aidlass national conference weighs up a complex and contradictory situation. Now, a few years from the end of the century, it seems impossible to find a similar book on the analyses of this subject: this mirrors the fragmentation of the new times.