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The Roman nymphaea in the cities of Asia Minor: function in context

Uğurlu, Nur Banu
The thesis concentrates on the interaction between man and his settlement within the context of the Roman city in Asia Minor during the imperial period. The analysis is carried out by examining the role of the nymphaea within the context of urban architecture. First of all, an insight of the Roman city and its armatures is given in order to define the Roman urban context. Within this context, the nymphaea are treated as landmarks for mentally mapping the city and as urban furniture in a properly functioning urban public sphere. Six sample cities are chosen as case studies. These are Pisidian Antioch, Perge, Hierapolis, Laodiceia, Ephesus and Miletus. The nymphaea within these cities are evaluated through selected criteria to answer questions such as: Where were the nymphaea usually located in the Roman city? What were their functions at those locations? Considering their role in the public sphere, how did the nymphaea affect the design of the city, urban life and its customs? As a result, it is seen that the location of the nymphaea within the city was not always dependent on the location of water sources. They were often located along the armature to be visible and memorable. Therefore, as an urban element the nymphaea influenced public activity by contributing to civic consciosnes and the making of livable and 'legible' cities.