Icons of civic form - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Icons of civic form

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  1. Icons of civic form

  2. Competition between elites within a city was not the only factor in the drive to monumentalization; competition between cities was important as well • There were often upgrades as cities tried to keep up with their neighbours: wider streets; larger temples and public buildings

  3. The urban area was defined by walls • Outside the walls lay the cemeteries • Other large buildings, such as hippodromes, were also located outside

  4. The urban plan • Most cities pre-dated the Roman annexation, and therefore their plans were older ones: often Seleucid or Ptolemaic • The grid or chess-board plan = “Hippodamian” • But grids are universal

  5. The grid plan allows colonists to be given equal plots of land • It permits easy surveillance • The orientation of the streets may have an ideological or religious meaning: cardo (n/s axis), decumanus (e/w axis), reflecting the movement of heavenly bodies • The grid may reflect social ideals, engendering a sense of improvement; it may have religious meanings, strategic meanings, practical meanings, hygienic meanings

  6. Seleucid cities • A citadel • Two axial main streets, plus many others at the same orientations, dividing the city up into blocks

  7. Apamea

  8. Ptolemaic and other cities • A single long main street with smaller streets at right angles • A single street that does not cross the city from one side to the other, but ends in a large sanctuary: Bostra, Petra = Nabataean design? • Local topography also constrained what could be achieved

  9. Bostra

  10. Petra

  11. Walls • Walls were a sign of civic autonomy: the city could defend itself • They were the largest and most expensive monument of a city – they may have been beyond the financial capabilities of smaller cities

  12. Streets

  13. The basic unit of urbanism • Nowadays mainly for access (usually by car), but the builders of the main streets in these cities had more than access and circulation in mind • Everyone has to use them so they are perfect places for political displays, providing a stage on which the ritual activities of the community are acted out

  14. Religious processions and civic ceremonies • Temples are often oriented with regard to the main streets

  15. The colonnaded street • May be perfectly straight, or an articulation of several straight sections, with changes in direction being marked by monumental structures

  16. They were often built in sections over several decades, and were clearly very important to the civic elites who paid for them • Apamea’s 2 km colonnade took at least 50 years or maybe 100 years to build

  17. Palmyra’s colonnade seems to be a late addition to the city plan

  18. An unusual feature of Palmyra’s colonnade was the extensive use of brackets on the columns to support statues

  19. The colonnades normally formed the supports for a roof – porticos • Behind the colonnades were rows of shops

  20. The shops suggest that the streets could also function as an extension of the city’s main marketplace (agora) • Some see these as the forerunner of the concept of a souk

  21. But souks do not have such elaborate and very public monumental spaces • A puzzle: some stretches of colonnade in a few cities (Gerasa, Philadelphia) appear to have had no practical function (no roof and nothing behind)

  22. The presence of significant buildings might be marked by changes in ornament or projecting porticos

  23. The streets were made eventful through the use of street monuments

  24. Arches

  25. Tetrapylon • “four gates” • One type is the quadrifons = four fronts (in Latin)

  26. Tetrakionion = four columns (in Greek)

  27. Open spaces • Agora

  28. Basilica

  29. Enterntainment and assemblies

  30. Places where the social order could be affirmed

  31. Theater

  32. Odeum or bouleterion

  33. Hippodrome

  34. Stadium

  35. Bath buildings • Bath buildings are among the commonest and most typical Roman buildings • They are found all over the region, in villages as well as cities

  36. The buildings of the monumental city were a reminder of who controlled it, and who had the right to compete for attention in its society • Monuments gave their builders a place in the collective memory of the community they helped to construct • It was an environment celebrating the aspirations and social power of a small but powerful element of the population