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Title: Images of the built landscape in the later Roman world
Author: Simon, Jesse
ISNI:       0000 0003 8403 7726
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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At its greatest extent, the Roman empire represented one of the largest continuous areas of land to have been ruled by a single central administration in the classical period. While the extent of the empire may be determined from both the extensive body of literary evidence from the Roman world, and also from the physi- cal remains of great public works stretching from Britain to Arabia, the processes by which the Romans were able to apprehend larger spaces remain infrequently studied in modern scholarship. It is often assumed that Roman spatial awareness came from cartographic representations and that the imperial Roman administration must have possessed detailed scale maps of both individual regions and of the empire as a whole. In the first part of the present study, it is demonstrated that Roman spatial understanding may not have relied very extensively on cartography, and that any maps produced in the Roman world were designed to serve very different purposes from those that we might associate with maps today. Instead, it is argued that the extensive construction projects that defined the character of the imperial world would have pro- vided a means by which the larger physical spaces of the empire could be understood. However, as transformations began to occur within the built environment between the late-third and late-sixth centuries, spatial processes would have necessarily started to change. In the second part of the present study, it is suggested that attitudes toward the built environment would have led to changes in the physical arrangement of rural and urban spaces in late antiquity; furthermore the eventual dissolution of the constructed landscape that defined the Roman empire would have resulted in new approaches to the apprehension of larger spaces, approaches in which cartographic expression may have played a more central role.
Supervisor: Howard-Johnston, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Late antiquity and the Middle Ages ; History of the ancient world ; History ; Imperial Rome ; Roman Empire ; Late Antiquity ; Geography ; Cartography ; Landscape ; Built Environment