Chapter

Aristocratic Houses and the Making of Late Antique Rome and Constantinople

Carlos Machado

in Two Romes

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739400
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933006 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739400.003.0006

Series: Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity

Aristocratic Houses and the Making of Late Antique Rome and Constantinople

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This chapter focuses on the aristocratic domus in late antique Rome and Constantinople. It demonstrates how elite housing shaped not just the physical environment but also the institutions and society of the late antique capitals. This study shows how the boom in aristocratic housing in fourth-century Rome involved the progressive takeover, on an unprecedented scale, of public space by private interests. The resulting change in the topography and urbanism of the city reflects the way in which aristocrats took advantage of the increasing physical and political distancing of the imperial court. It is shown that the opposite tendency prevailed in Constantinople, where the establishment of an imperial court and of the senatorial aristocracy led to the development of a clearly imperial urban layout.

Keywords: Rome; Constantinople; housing; topography; public space; urbanism

Chapter.  10392 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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