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

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Oxford University Press, Jun 2, 2017 - Literary Collections - 424 pages
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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of the Roman Presence
ConclusionSeeing the City as a Whole

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About the author (2017)

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).

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