Rethinking the Roman City : The Spatial Turn and the Archaeology of Roman Italy book cover
1st Edition

Rethinking the Roman City
The Spatial Turn and the Archaeology of Roman Italy

Edited By

Dunia Filippi

ISBN 9780815361794
Published March 31, 2022 by Routledge
268 Pages 59 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The spatial turn has brought forward new analytical imperatives about the importance of space in the relationship between physical and social networks of meaning. This volume explores this in relation to approaches and methodologies in the study of urban space in Roman Italy.

As a consequence of these new imperatives, sociological studies on ancient Roman cities are flourishing, demonstrating a new set of approaches that have developed separately from "traditional" historical and topographical analyses. Rethinking the Roman City represents a convergence of these different approaches to propose a new interpretive model, looking at the Roman city and one of its key elements: the forum. After an introductory discussion of methodological issues, internationally-know specialists consider three key sites of the Roman world – Rome, Ostia and Pompeii. Chapters focus on physical space and/or the use of those spaces to inter-relate these different approaches. The focus then moves to the Forum Romanum, considering the possible analytical trajectories available (historical, topographical, literary, comparative and sociological), and the diversity of possible perspectives within each of these, moving towards an innovative understanding of the role of the forum within the Roman city.

This volume will be of great value to scholars of ancient cities across the Roman world, well as historians of urban society and development throughout the ancient world.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of contributors



Methodological approaches

Chapter 1

Topography between two worlds: William Gell and Antonio Nibby

Andrew Wallace-Hadrill with Martin Millett

Chapter 2

Some thoughts on current trends in the archaeology of urban contexts and rural landscapes in the Mediterranean world

Stefano Campana


Cities with optimal data: Rome, Ostia and Pompeii

Chapter 3

Topography and Classical Archaeology: Landscape biography

Paolo Carafa

Chapter 4

Sensory-spatial history at Ostia: The embodied space of street porticoes

Jeffrey D. Veitch

Chapter 5

Rethinking Relationships between Ostia and Portus

Simon Keay

Chapter 6

Visual communication in the streets of Pompeii

Annette van Haug and Philipp Kobutsch


A key public space in the Roman city: The Forum

Chapter 7

Archaeologists in the Roman Forum

Dunia Filippi

Chapter 8

Historians in the Forum

Nicholas Purcell

Chapter 9

Children and Public Space in Early Imperial Rome

Ray Laurence

Chapter 10

Transformations of public space in the cities of Italy under the Principate: the case of the Forum

John Patterson


View More



Dunia Filippi, former advanced Marie Slodowska-Curie Fellow, is affiliated Researcher at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, UK. She is interested in urban and social settlement, the topography of ancient Rome during its long life span, residential building and archaeological theory and methodology. She has reconstructed the topography of the 8th Augustan region "Forum Romanum Magnum". She has recently co-edited the edition of the excavation over twenty years at the North Slope of the Palatine hill, in Rome (a 100 ha stratigraphic deposit between the 12th cent. BCE and the 14th cent. CE).