Origins of the Colonnaded Streets in the Cities of the Roman East

Origins of the Colonnaded Streets in the Cities of the Roman East

by Ross Burns


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The colonnaded axes define the visitor's experience of many of the great cities of the Roman East. How did this extraordinarily bold tool of urban planning evolve? The street, instead of remaining a mundane passage, a convenient means of passing from one place to another, was in the course of little more than a century transformed in the Eastern provinces into a monumental landscape which could in one sweeping vision encompass the entire city.

The colonnaded axes became the touchstone by which cities competed for status in the Eastern Empire. Though adopted as a sign of cities' prosperity under the Pax Romana, they were not particularly 'Roman' in their origin. Rather, they reflected the inventiveness, fertility of ideas and the dynamic role of civic patronage in the Eastern provinces in the first two centuries under Rome.

This study will concentrate on the convergence of ideas behind these great avenues, examining over fifty sites in an attempt to work out the sequence in which ideas developed across a variety of regions-from North Africa around to Asia Minor. It will look at the phenomenon in the context of the consolidation of Roman rule.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198784548
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Ross Burns, Adjunct Profressor, Macquarie University, Sydney

Ross Burns is Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University, Sydney. He graduated in History and Archaeology from Sydney University, 1966 and spent 37 years in the Australian Foreign Service including posts as Ambassador in the Middle East, South Africa and Greece. Since 2003, he hascompleted a PhD at
Macquarie University in Sydney (2009) and authored several books on the history of Syria- Monuments of Syria (1992, 1999, 2009), Damascus, A History (2005), Aleppo, A History (2016).

Table of Contents

1. The Hellenistic city in the Eastern context
2. Alexandria-'View Planning' Embraces the City
3. Greek and Roman Precedents in the Early Empire
4. Framework for the Development of Cities in the Early Years of the Roman presence
5. Provincial Cities in the Early Empire
6. Urban Development in Practice-Client Kings
7. Urban Development in Practice-Province of Syria
8. Urban Development in Practice-Asia Minor and North Africa
9. The New Environment of the Early Second Century
10. The Colonnaded Axis Reaches its Peak
11. Antonines and Severans-End of User Pays?
12. A Singular Experiment
Conclusion-Seeing the City as a Whole
Appendix 1-Results of the American-French Excavations in Antioch
Appendix 2-Table of Roman-era Cities and Colonnaded Streets Discussed

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