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Title: The 3rd century A.D. in south-western Asia Minor : epigraphic studies into civic life and diplomatic relations with Rome
Author: Blanco Pérez, Aitor
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 301X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis studies the inscriptions produced by the southern and western settlements on the Anatolian peninsula - modern Turkey - from the death of the emperor Commodus (AD 192) to Diocletian's accession (284). The 3rd century AD, a period of fundamental transition between the high and late Roman imperial ages, has traditionally been considered an age of crisis and decline. This crisis supposedly affected civic life as members of the local communities were not willing or financially able to take part in politics. Against this prevalent opinion in scholarship, the purpose of this study is to analyse the abundant epigraphic evidence surviving from this region in order to reassess the local activity of such political communities. The first chapter intends to determine whether the effects of the Constitutio Antoniniana on the nomenclature of the peregrine (i.e. non-Roman) population can be used as a reliable dating criterion. It also explains the methodology on which my collection of epigraphic evidence has been based. The second chapter examines the families, individuals, institutions and celebrations comprising the civic life of Ephesus, Lydia, Aphrodisias and Southern Anatolia (esp. Termessos, Perge and Side) in the first half of the 3rd century. These four case studies demonstrate a high level of local activity, which was recorded with inscriptions resembling those produced in the 2nd century AD. The third chapter analyses the communication between these local communities and the ruling power of Rome. On the one hand, this analysis describes the prevalent diplomatic procedures followed and their motivations. On the other, it evaluates the testimonies attesting direct contact between the population of south-western Asia Minor and imperial representatives such as governors, administrators and soldiers. The final chapter deals with the particular circumstances affecting the production of inscriptions in the region from 250 to 284. These four chapters demonstrate that the civic life of south-western Asia Minor can be studied from a local perspective and beyond the narrow methodological framework imposed by adherence to the model of the '3rd century crisis'. The contextualised analysis of epigraphic evidence provided shows strong elements of continuity in the civic life of the region and its relation with Rome. The same analysis also concludes that the stark decline and changes of the inscriptions produced in the second half of the 3rd century were not only caused by internal factors. According to these results, this thesis hopes to contribute to the reconsideration of the Anatolian peninsula in such a crucial period of the history of the Roman Empire.
Supervisor: Kuhn, Christina T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Inscriptions--Turkey ; History ; Ancient--Sources ; Turkey--Antiquities ; Roman ; Rome--Politics and government--30 B.C.-284 A.D