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Title: The transformation of the sacred landscape within the former Kingdom of Hieron II, southeastern Sicily, from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire (212 BC - AD 96)
Author: Currie, James Nicholas Counce
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 0082
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis examines the transformation of the sacred landscape within the territory of the former Kingdom of Hieron II in southeastern Sicily, from its conquest by Rome during the Second Punic War to the end of the Flavian dynasty in AD 96, and takes the themes of change and continuity as its central focus. It conducts a site by site analysis of the active cult sites of this period found in the ancient cities and sites of Syracusae, Contrada Borgellusa (Avola), Helorus, Morgantina, and Tauromenium. Both synchronic and diachronic, this analysis not only aims to clarify important questions such as cult attribution and architectural layout, but also importantly addresses questions concerning how and when these cult sites evolved over time. These sites are also examined within their local urban or rural archaeological contexts to better understand the extent to which development within individual cult sites is associated with the local development of the urban or rural landscape. Key aspects of change are examined through a synthesis of the previous chapters and the incorporation of additional archaeological, epigraphic, and numismatic evidence. This includes a topographical analysis of the cult sites within the countryside, as well as the urban public districts of the agora and theater. This sheds light on the ways in which the development of cult sites was impacted by their location. Select cultic developments are then explored. These include an apparent “decline” of Sicily’s most famous cult, Demeter and Kore, as well as the introduction of Isis and Serapis. The use of thesauri (offertory boxes) as a novel cult practice is also identified as well as its connection to Romano-Italic influence within the new province. This thesis provides significant new insight into the evolution of the Sicilian sacred landscape under Rome. It shows that the evolution of the sacred landscape was characterized by periods of both significant continuity and change that should be understood as an important part of the cultural integration of the territory and province into the expanding Roman Empire of the Republican and early Imperial periods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BL Religion ; DG Italy ; NA Architecture