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The Geography of Urbanism in Roman Asia Minor

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The Geography of Urbanism in Roman Asia Minor investigates how Roman urbanism manifested itself in Asia Minor during the first three centuries CE, particularly with regards to its spatial patterning over the landscape and the administrative, economic and cultural functions cities fulfilled, and how cities developed in terms of size and monumentality. It also addresses to what extent this was a result of political and socio-cultural and economic context and to what extent ‘structural determinants’, such as the physical topography, agricultural potential and climate (including the shifts/changes therein) influenced the observed patterns. As Asia Minor was already dotted by cities long before the Romans got a hold on this area during the second century BCE, this work compares urbanism of the first three centuries CE with the patterns of cities during the first millennium BCE (Classical and Hellenistic period particularly) and the Byzantine and Ottoman patterns, creating a long term perspective.

The book contains an appendix with the information for the 500 cities and 1000 villages in Asia Minor.

Published: Jan 1, 2020

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Preface Rinse Willet
List of Figures Rinse Willet
List of Tables Rinse Willet
Classical Source Abbreviations Rinse Willet
Chapter 1
Towards Defining Cities in Roman Asia Minor Rinse Willet
Chapter 2
The Rise of the Roman Urban Pattern Rinse Willet
Chapter 3
The Urban Pattern: Self-governing Cities Rinse Willet
Chapter 4
Secondary Agglomerations and Regional Settlement Patterns Rinse Willet
Chapter 5
The Urban Hierarchy Rinse Willet
Chapter 6
Monumentality and Cities Rinse Willet
Chapter 7
Epilogue Rinse Willet
End Matter
Bibliography Rinse Willet
Appendix I: Settlement Data Rinse Willet
Appendix II: Hinterlands and Territories Rinse Willet
Index Rinse Willet


A work of remarkable originality and scholarship... a brilliant landmark study that is a game changer in urban history and urban archaeology of the ancient world.
John Bintliff, Honorary Professor in Classical Archaeology, Edinburgh University

Asia Minor is generally thought to be one of the most highly urbanised provinces of the Roman Empire, but Rinse Willet's work is the first full-scale study of the chronology, extent and character of this urbanisation. Specialists in the archaeology of Asia Minor and scholars of Roman urbanisation more generally will find much of interest in W's methods and findings.
The Journal of Roman Studies

This is an ambitious project, focusing on the cities of Roman Asia Minor in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD by region. It examines how regions differed from one another by catego- rising cities according to their location, size and the presence of various buildings. Scholars have already been doing this for a long time informally and subjectively, but Rinse Willet is more systematic, making good use of GIS to quantify these factors and good use of a large number of colour illustrations to display the results.
Ancient West and East