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Title: In the Footsteps of the Gods : the use of computational methods to explore the role of mobility in the religious landscape of 2nd century AD Ostia
Author: Crawford, Katherine Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 6952
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis assesses how temples contributed to the religious landscape of Ostia, Rome's ancient port, through the practice of processional rituals. A novel computational approach is developed for the study of ritual movement that combines space syntax, urban network analysis, and agent-based modelling to evaluate where processional routes may have travelled within Ostia's urban landscape. The modelling and visualisation of hypothetical processional routes, associated with specific temples, provides a heuristic approach for looking at how temples structured individual rituals and their wider cultic impact upon the surrounding cityscape. The quantity of evidence relating to Ostian religion presents an ideal opportunity to consider how religious and ritual practices extended beyond temple precincts to impact the wider cityscape. Processional routes are explored within the 2nd century AD city as one way to study the role that temples played in structuring religious landscapes. While scholars acknowledge the regularity of processional activity, studies have traditionally focused upon major processions, such as the Roman triumph, rather than considering the wider occurrence of religious processions within urban contexts. The nuances of how a procession traversed a city's streets and its urban impact are not easily revealed due to the paucity of information from ancient literary sources and their near invisibility within the archaeological record. In terms of Ostia, processions are assumed to have occurred but no attempts have been made to assess their contribution to Ostia's religious environment. This thesis aims to address this gap in both processional scholarship and approaches to religious landscapes more broadly by developing a new method that questions how urban architecture and social activity helped to structure ritual movement within the city of Ostia. Three case studies are used to illustrate how processional movement created a complex ritual environment: the Campo della Magna Mater, the Serapeum, and the forum temples. It will be argued that the analysis of these routes contributes new understanding into how the urban community of Ostia interacted with these temples through virtue of their rituals.
Supervisor: Keay, Simon ; Mladenovic, Dragana Ehrismann Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available