Newsome, David John (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis details the development of fora in Rome and Pompeii in order that our understanding of these spaces as 'centres' accounts for their changing relationship with the city, between the third century B.C. and the second century A.D. It is a diachronic study of spatial practice and the representation of space, based on archaeological evidence for infrastructures of movement and textual evidence for the articulation of spatial concepts. Having asserted the importance of movement in shaping the perception of space in antiquity, this thesis details the changes to the physical disposition, the management of access, and the representation of fora. It concludes that while the centrality of the Forum Romanum was related to its potential for through movement, access was increasingly restricted in the late-first century B.C. This changing disposition of public space informed the development of the imperial fora, which in turn informed the development of fora outside of the city of Rome. Fora changed from shortcuts to obstacles in the city; from spaces of movement through to spaces of movement to. This represents a fundamental redefinition of their relationship with the city of which they were a part, and of their 'centrality' in both practice and representation.
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