CITY AND ARCHITECTURE


ANDERSON, James C. jr.

Anderson, J.C.jr. 1997. Roman Architecture and Society. Baltimore.

Anderson's theme is twofold:
1. How the Romans organized buiding: this part consists of a study of literary, legal and epigraphic sources (especially Vitruvius). Anderson discusses the named of architects known from texts and tries to attribute buildings to known architects. Next, unskilled labour is discussed, as Anderson suggests that because much of the labour was done by the urban plebs, public building projects where meant to supplement the lowest classes with paid labour. As a final topic in this section the supply of building materials is covered.
2. How Romans organized space: covers the origins of urban planning, Rome's urbs and suburbium, the main public building types and the domestic and commercial architecture. Because the coverage is broad, the treatment of each topic is necessarily brief, omitting many possible avenues of interpretation.
The book concentrates on the famous buildings of Rome, Ostia, Pompeii and Cosa.
Review by J. DeLaine
Reviewed by Pierre Gros. 1999. AJA 103. 570-571. (map 1)

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BALL, Warwick

Ball, W. 2000. Rome in the East. The Transformation of an Empire. London and New York.

Huge study about the Near Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire from Pompeius Magnus till the Arab invasions in the 7th century. History, architecture, archaeology. No attention is given to domestic architecture though.

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BELTRAN DE HEREDIA BERCERO, Julia

Beltran de Heredia Bercero, J. 2002. Continuity and change in the urban topography. Archaeological evidence of the north-east quadrant of the city. In: J. Beltran de Heredia Bercero (ed) From Barcino to Barcinona (1st to 7th centuries). The archaeological remains of the Plaša del Rei in Barcelona. Barcelona: Imprenta Municipal. 96-106.

On the Urban topography of the north-east quadrant of the city of Barcelona around the episcopal center.

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CLAUDE, Dietrich

Claude, D. 1969. Die byzantinische Stadt im 6. Jahrhundert München.

Samenvatting.

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DELAINE, Janet

DeLaine, J. 2005. The commercial landscape of Ostia. In: A. Mac Mahon and J. Price (eds) Roman Working Lives and Urban Living. Oxford: Oxbow books. 29-47.

The focus of this paper is on the operation of commerce within the whole range of possible spaces and structures using the available physical evidence from Ostia to evaluate the functionning of space. The paper concentrates on questions of how the various commercial units operated within the overall urban landscape and how the physical setting was orchestrated to secure and display the goods of the seller, atttract the buyer and faciliate transactions between the two. DeLaine concludes that despite the limitations of the archaeological evidence for the precise nature of the goods sold or traded, the general patterns of activity are clear: multifunctionality emerged as a key characteristic of commercial space.


DeLaine, J. 2000. Organising Roman buiding and space. Review of: J.C. Anderson jr. 1997. Roman Architecture and Society. Baltimore. In: JRA 13. 486-492.

Very critical review of Anderson's work, concluding that it is a sourcebook for the uninitiated and that even then its success is only moderate.


DeLaine, J. 1995. The Insula of the Paintings at Ostia I.4.2-4. Paradigm for a city in flux. In: T.J. Cornell and K. Lomas (ed) Urban Society in Roman Italy. London. 79-106.

The intention of this paper is to trace the changing nature of one structure, the Insula of the Paintings at Ostia, to illustrate that the life of a city is complex and ever changing. While archaeological and particulary structural evidence by nature often tends to represent urban development as a series of static tableaux. DeLaine produces an architectural study of the insula illuminating construction techniques, cost, source of materials and manpower, and changes in function. This enables a more realistic reconstruction of the probable form of the insula and gives valuable insights into the nature of urban renewal at the most fundamental level. (see Introduction by K. Lomas p.4)

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FOSS, Clive

Foss, C. 1979. Ephesus after Antiquity. A late antique, Byzantine and Turkish City. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Exhaustive work on Ephesos in Late Antiquity. Especially useful for references to subdivision and encraochment of shops (p. 54, 74) and for the lighting of streets (p.56-57).

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HERMANSEN, Gustav

Hermansen, G. 1981. Ostia. Aspects of Roman City Life. Edmonton.

Book describing the typical aspects of city life, as clearly attested in the remains of Ostia. Next topics are treated: appartment buildings, the rooms and their names - fire and fireprotection - guilds - taverns - regulations on building code and property laws. Especially this last part describing the laws on construction (from the Digesta Justinian period) are interesting. On p. 93 is stated: cuis est solum eius est usque ad coelum.

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JONES, Arnold Hughes Martin

Jones, A.H.M. 1979. The Greek City. From Alexander to Justinian. Oxford.

Overview of the role played by the city in antiquity as testified in the historical sources. Next items are considered: the diffusion of cities, the relation of cities with their suzerain, internal politics, city services and the achievements of cities on economical, political, administrative and cultural spheres.

Jones, A.H.M. 1937. Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces. Oxford.

Description of the location of the different antique cities in the Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. Together with an explanation of the gouvernemtal institutions in the different regions and cities.

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LASSUS, Jean

Lassus, J. 1972. Les portiques d'Antioche. Antioch on the Orontes 5. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Description of Antioch's colonnaded streets. Especially interesting in association with Libanius's XI oration and for its reference to the Yakto Mosaic depicting the main buildings and streets of Antioch (p. 138-139; pl.56).

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LAURENCE, Ray

Laurence, R. 1994. Urban renewal in Roman Italy. The limits to change. In: M. Locock (ed) Meaningful Architecture. Social Interpretations of Buildings. Aldershot. 66-85.

This paper highlights through an examination of the archaeological, legal and literary sources theconstraints on urban renewal. Social pressure for and against redevelopment is considered as well as the restrictions laid by the existing town fabric. Finally it was the urban elite, as managers of urban development, who imposed their values upon the cityscape.


Laurence, R. 1994. Roman Pompeii. Space and Society. London: Routlegde.

Laurence examines the archaeological and literary evidence relating to the city of Pompeii from the viewpoint of architect, geographer and social scientist to emphasise the relationship between social action and urban space. Laurence gives a full account of the development of public buildings, and examines individual neighbourhoods, places of work, and areas of leisure, placing the city in the wider context of Roman society and urban development. Pompeii is shown to have undergone considerable urban development, as local activities are located in both time and space.

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LIEBESCHUETZ, Wolfgang

Liebeschuetz, W. 1992. The end of the ancient city. In: J. Rich (ed) The City in Late Antiquity. London and New York. 1-49.

A description of the disappearence of the ancient city as administrative-economic center in the late antiquity as well for the western as for the eastern empire. For describing the reasons why of this fenomenon literary sources are used.

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LOMAS, Kathryn

Lomas, K. 1998. Roman imperialism and the city in Italy. In: R. Laurence and J. Berry (ed). Cultural Identity in the Roman Empire. London and New York. 64-78.

This article of Lomas handles two different aspects of "Romanization", namely the different patterns of urbanisation in Italy (Samnium vs. Sabines) and the extent to which changes in urban topography can be used as an indicator of levels of acculturation, and the social dymamics behind it. For this second part Lomas uses the study of Jouffroy (cfr. Lomas 1997). From this exploration of the links between urbanism, imperialism and acculturation following suggestions can be made. First, till the social war norms of Roman urban life were forceably imposed on regions such as Samnium. Second, the widespread transformation of the urban landscape in the 1st century BC-AD must be regarded as cultural imperialism on the part of Rome, but it arose out of complex interactions between Rome and the municipatilies. THe increasing adoption of Italians among the Roman elite points to to a possible route of Roman norms through the benefactions of senators from municipal origin. On the other hand have Roman forms of urban life been adopted voluntarily by the municipal elites. The figure of Augustus played hereby a central role.


Lomas, K. 1997. The idea of a city: élite ideology and the evolution of urban form in Italy, 200 BC-AD 100. In: H.M. Parkins (ed) Roman Urbanism. Beyond the Consumer City. Londen en New York. 21-41.

The aim of this article is to examine the physical form of the Italian city - what public buildings were being constructed, who was undertaking the construction and why - and to suggest some ways in which this can throw light on how the Italians thought about cities, about their social dynamics, and about the role of the city as a vehicle for acculturation. Two views on the city dominate at the end of the first century AD. One is that the city is both the symbol and definition of civilization. Two is that cities are difined not in terms of their citizens (Classic Greece) but by their structures (Pausanias!). In the study of the public buildings reveals that there is a distinct change both in the types of buildings erected (utilitarian --> decorative cfr. study of Jouffroy) and in the social and political background of the men responsible (magistrates --> euergetism). The reason of this change is partly because the emergence of municipal aristocraties, but more importantly because the changing political circumstances within Rome. The construction of major building projects whose form was geared towards a specific ideological programme and the political dominance of one single figure i.e. Augustus as princeps.


Lomas, K. 1995. Urban elites and cultural definition: Romanization in southern Italy. In: T.J. Cornell and K. Lomas (ed) Urban Society in Roman Italy. London. 107-120.

Study of the acculturation processes of the Greek cities in southern Italy (Italization/Romanization) and the role of the urban elite in disseminating cultural influences. Conclusion is that there was a Roman administrative structure and a large Roman and Italian admixture to the popultion in the Greek cities, but that nevertheless, the privileged status of Greek culture ensured that Helenism not only survived but enjoyed a revival of importance and was integrated to the activities of the elite.

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MACDONALD, William L.

MacDonald, W.L. 1986. The Architecture of the Roman Empire. Volume II. An Urban Appraisal. New Haven and London.

Algemeen werk over Romeinse bouwkunst, zowel publiek als privaat.
MacDonald intoduces the principle of "armatures" in Urbanism, which is of the core of streets and squares running uninterrupted through the center of a Roman town and gives acces to the main public buildings.
Review of F.Sear
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MEIGGS, R.

Meiggs, R. 1973 (2end edition). Roman Ostia. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Overview of city life in Ostia.

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POULTER Andrew

Poulter, A. 2002. The Roman to Byzantine transition in the Balkans. Preliminary results on Nicopolis and its hinterland. In: Journal of Roman Archaeology 13. 347-358.

Overview of the historical significance of the city of Nicopolis ad Istrum: its urbanism and the relations between city and hinterland. Focus is on the 6th century AD and the transition from the Roman to the early Byzantine period.

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RIPOLL LOPEZ, Gisela

Ripoll Lopèz, G. 2002. The transformation of the city of Barcino during Late Antiquity. In: J. Beltran de Heredia Bercero (ed) From Barcino to Barcinona (1st to 7th centuries). The archaeological remains of the Plaša del Rei in Barcelona. Barcelona: Imprenta Municipal. 34-43.

Overview of the historical significance of the city of Barcelona during Late Antiquity and the transition to the early Middelages.

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OWENS, E.J.

Owens, E.J. 1991. The City in the Greek and Roman World. London and New York.

Book about the origins and the evolution of town planning in the ancient world. First an overview of 'old' cities is given, followed by the origins of town planning. Next the evolution of towns is discribed from the classical period over Hellenistic, Etruscan and Early Roman periods till the Roman Empire. In appendix an overview of the necessary infratructure of towns is given.

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SEAR, Frank

Sear, F. 1992. Introducing Roman public buildings. Review of I.M. Barton (ed) 1989. Roman Public Buildings. Exeter. In: JRA 5. 291-293.

Except from some critics on the work of Barton, Sear gives a good overview of the recent works on Roman Architecture.


Sear, F. 1988. MacDonalds Architecture II. Review of W.L. MacDonald. 1986. The Architecture of the Roman Empire. Volume II. An Urban Appraisal. New Haven and London. In: JRA 1. 162-165.


Sear, F. 1982. Roman Architecture. London.

Algemeen werk over Romeinse bouwkunst, zowel publiek als privaat.

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ZANKER, Paul

Zanker, P. 1995. Pompeji. Stadtbild und Wohngeschmack. Mainz am Rhein.

Zanker stresses the differences between the present houses (private) and Roman houses (public) and gives an explanation why it is an archaeological rather than a historical task (map 1 p16-32).
His book is in fact a comprising of three papers on the sociology of life in an ancient town using the evidence of Pompeii as grist. The sociology is viewed in four "townscapes" (1) the Oscan city of 2e century BC (2) the colony of Roman veterans after Sulla 80 BC (3) the Julio-Claudian city (4) the rebuilding period after 62 AD.

Reviewed by Lawrence Richardson jr. 2000. AJA 104. 103-104. (map 3)

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Opgesteld door Toon Putzeys januari 2002
Laatst vernieuwd in maart 2006