Following ‘Western’ Fashion Trends. The Impact of ‘Italian’ Elements on Private Housing in Roman Imperial Asia Minor – Inge Uytterhoeven


6 October 2018 – 14:30

Following ‘Western’ Fashion Trends.

The Impact of ‘Italian’ Elements on Private Housing in Roman Imperial Asia Minor

When Rome started in the 2nd c. BC to incorporate Eastern areas like Greece and Asia Minor in the Roman World, the already existing Late Classical and Hellenistic tendencies in private housing, which generally had a more monumentalised and stronger representative character than in earlier times (e.g the occurrence of peristyle courtyards, reception rooms, floor and wall decorations), seem to have largely continued. However, especially from the Early Imperial Period onwards new architectural and ornamental features appeared, which were partly in line with contemporaneous developments in the West.

This paper intends to give an overview of the continuities, developments and changes the urban elite houses of Asia Minor underwent at the transition from the Hellenistic to the Roman Period. Starting from selected examples of houses on various ancient sites (including own research at Sagalassos) it will be illustrated how the introduction of new ‘Italian’ architectural forms (such as ‘Roman’ private baths), building materials and techniques (such as brick masonry), as well as decorative elements (such as mosaics, paintings) resulted, depending on the degree of ‘Roman’ exposure, in the different areas of the region at various moments (for instance at an early date at Pergamon) in a mix of ‘traditional’ and ‘western’ elements that were adapted to the needs and tastes of the ‘Roman’ upper class.

Inge Uytterhoeven

Koç Üniversitesi