Public architecture and civic identity in classical and Hellenistic Ionia : the cases of Miletus and Priene
The main objective of this thesis is to investigate how works of public architecture, both alone and as components of the general urban layout, were related to the selfperception and identity of the ancient Greek polis community. And further, how the gradual evolution and change of this identity affected the history and associations of the buildings and the overall appearance of the city. The study concentrates on the Classical and Hellenistic periods with emphasis on the process of transition, and the geographical region of Ionia, which in that particular period lay at the centre of the historical developments that would bring important changes to Greek poleis and their communities. Miletus and Priene were selected as case studies because both were founded in the Classical period and continued to develop throughout the Hellenistic, are extensively excavated and published, and offer sufficient material for study. Miletus allows insight into large and influential polis communities, while Priene offers evidence for small ones with more limited means. In the first chapter, fundamental concepts such as 'collective identity,' 'cultural community,' 'cultural memory,' 'monumentality,' etc. and also those of 'city,' 'citystate' and 'polis community' are defined and analyzed, and their relation to each other and to architecture is discussed. In the second and third chapters, the architectural development of Miletus and Priene is examined against its historical background, in the light of the principles and associations observed in the first, theoretical part. In the final chapter, the developments and tendencies observed in Miletus and Priene are placed into context with similar phenomena that occurred in other poleis of the region and the Greek world in general during the process of transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic era. The discussion is based around the main axes of civic life i.e. the economic-political, socio-cultural, religious etc., and around issues of particular concern at the time such as the effects of monarchy and the growing role of the individual.