Kristine Iara presents a working paper on ‚Late antique Rome: space, people and gods‘

Based on the analysis of the archaeological, epigraphic and textual evidence and its critical assessment, my research explores topographic-urbanistic, social, and religious dimensions of the transformation of Rome’s sacral topography in Late Antiquity, a topic that still lacks a monographic study. My methodology can be subsumed under the term synopsis and includes: (1) studying the late antique period as intrinsic to Rome’s millennial history, without being biased by a teleological view on the outcome, that is, Rome as the capital of a Christian empire; (2) analyzing all cult places and all areas of the city, including the suburbium; (3) the combined consideration of the dimensions of space and time; and (4) examining connections and connectors between places (material, permanent ones, e.g. streets; ephemeral ones, e.g. processions; immaterial ones, e.g. visual axes). This synoptic analysis of the cityscape constitutes the essential step that leads not only to a quantitative increase of data, but will induce a qualitative shift in the research. Moreover, it will re-embed Rome’s sacral topography within its urban (‘general’) topography without the two being separated from one another. Rome’s sacral topography has not yet been analyzed with a similar approach, neither for Late Antiquity nor for earlier times.

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