Monumentalization in the cities of Hellenistic and Roman Imperial Asia Minor

10-12 July 2020, Sagalassos (Ağlasun, Burdur Province, Turkey)

An international workshop organised by Jeroen Poblome (Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project, KULeuven) and Arjan Zuiderhoek (Ancient History Research Group, Ghent University)

Our aim is to explore the phenomenon of the monumentalization of urban landscapes in Hellenistic and Roman imperial Asia Minor and the issues and debates surrounding it, from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives (archaeological, historical, epigraphical, architectural…).
Two grand narratives may be said traditionally to dominate discussion of this topic. The first offers a socio-political explanation of the changes observed, in that its supporters generally relate the increasing monumentalization of civic centers in the Greek East from the Hellenistic period onwards to a decline of popular politics in the cities and an increasing oligarchization of socio-political life. In a second narrative, more specifically focused on Asia Minor and other parts of the wider Greek East, city-formation is almost exclusively conceived of in terms of polis-formation, and monumentalization is viewed as part of this (hellenizing) process. This workshop aims to interrogate and where necessary challenge these traditional perspectives.

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