Lycia and Rome : an architectural encounter

Kalınbayrak Ercan, Aygün
This thesis examines the Romanization of Lycia from an architectural point of view. The central premise of the study is to expose how being Roman and the sense of belonging to the Roman Empire were collectively manifested in Lycia through architecture with an acknowledgement of the possible impacts of local identities and architectural practices. In this respect, the study concentrates on the architectural and urban development of Lycian cities during the Roman Imperial Period, and the outcome of the encounter between the local and Roman architectural practices. In order to pursue a deeper understanding of the continuities and changes concerning the urban fabric of Lycian cities over time, and reveal the balance between the assimilation of Roman architecture and the survival of local architectural traditions, currently discernible architectural remains and other forms of material evidence regarding the urban layouts of Lycian cities dated to a period between the late Archaic and the end of the Roman Imperial Era are examined diachronically and thematically under the consideration of key political events and cultural highlights. Then, the results are interpreted within the framework of Romanization theory which is reformulated through the review of critical discussions concerning the Romanization debate. This inquiry has revealed that Romanization was a dynamic and manifold dialogue between Lycia and Rome that began as early as the first encounter. The Lycian cities were conspicuously reurbanized during the Imperial Period under the influence of Roman culture and architecture, whereas some architectural practices from the Classical and especially the Hellenistic Period survived embedded within the rejuvenated urban fabric. The common architectural and urban imagery and symbolism offered by the Roman Imperial architecture, and the regular performances of Roman rituals and institutional practices within the Romanized architectural and urban setting resulted in the construction of a collective Roman and imperial identity in Lycian cities. At the same time, however, the diversity inherent in the nature of Roman architecture and the survival of the local architectural and cultural practices contributed to the creation of an idiosyncratic provincial identity in Lycia.


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Citation Formats
A. Kalınbayrak Ercan, “Lycia and Rome : an architectural encounter,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.