Regional Urban Systems in the Roman World, 150 BCE - 250 CE


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The focus of Regional Urban Systems in the Roman World is on urban hierarchies and interactions in large geographical areas rather than on individual cities. Based on a painstaking examination of archaeological and epigraphic evidence relating to more than 1,000 cities, the volume offers comprehensive reconstructions of the urban systems of Roman Gaul, North Africa, Sicily, Greece and Asia Minor. In addition it examines the transformation of the settlement systems of the Iberian Peninsula and the central and northern Balkan following the imposition of Roman rule. Throughout the volume regional urban configurations are examined from a rich variety of perspectives, ranging from climate and landscape, administration and politics, economic interactions and social relationships all the way to region-specific ways of shaping the townscapes of individual cities.

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Luuk de Ligt is Professor of Ancient History at Leiden University. He has published widely on economic history, social history, legal history and urban history. His monograph Peasants, Citizens and Soldiers (Cambridge University Press, 2012) has been greeted as a path-breaking contribution to the demographic history of Roman Italy. Between 2013 and 2018 he held a major research grant from the European Research Council (2013-2018) for the project An Empire of 2,000 Cities.
John Bintliff is Emeritus Professor of Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology at Leiden University and Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh. Since 1978 he has been co-directing (with Cambridge University) the Boeotia Project. In 2012 he published The Complete Archaeology of Greece: From Hunter‐Gatherers to the 20th Century AD (Wiley-Blackwell). Between 2013 and 2018 he co-directed the ERC-funded project An Empire of 2,000 Cities.

List of contributors: Florian Baret, Damjan Donev Eseninova, Matthew S. Hobson, Michalis Karambinis, Frank Kolb Haselweg, Dragana Mladenović, Oliva Rodríguez Gutiérrez, Frida Pellegrino, Paul Scheding, David L. Stone, Manuel Fernández-Götz, Frédéric Trément, F. Vermeulen, Rinse Willet.
"The relevance of these contributions to the study of regional urban systems across the Roman world is demonstrated not only by the authors’ discussions, but also by the wealth of analytic data, tables, catalogues and appendices supplementing many of these texts. Undoubtedly, the volume provides new information that will be of use to anyone working on the urbanism, economic and socio-political history of the Roman Empire, striking a good balance between archaeological and ancient historical standpoints." - Niccolò Mugnai, University of Oxford, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2021.01.29
''This volume successfully champions the ‘regional perspective’ as a fruitful way to analyse the process of urbanisation in the Roman period. The adoption of multiple scales allows the publication to account for the diversity of urban developments, while paying due attention to both pan-imperial and region-specific factors. The publication makes it evident that a number of important insights would have been missed if urbanisation studies remained limited to research on single cities. The larger scale and the systemic context provided by the volume allow for more complex observations about economic integration and about the nature of contacts between individual cities. The volume’s key conclusions about provincial urbanisation and the data it assembles will pave the way for further work on cities in the Roman world.'' - Pawel Borowski, in: The Classical Review 70.2 (2020)
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction
Luuk de Ligt and John Bintliff

2 A World of 200 Oppida: Pre-Roman Urbanism in Temperate Europe
Manuel Fernández-Götz

3 The Size Distribution of Self-governing Cities in the North-Western Provinces: Trends and Anomalies
Frida Pellegrino

4 The Roman ‘Small Towns’ in the Massif Central (civitates of the Arverni, Vellavii, Gabali, Ruteni, Cadurci and Lemovices): Methodology and Main Results
Florian Baret

5 Towns, Roads and Development Dynamics in the Territory of the Arverni in Roman Times (Auvergne, France)
Frédéric Trément, Florian Baret, Marion Dacko, Jérôme Trescarte, Maxime Calbris, Lise Augustin and Guy Massounie

6 Urbanisation of the Iberian Peninsula during the Roman Period: Choices, Impositions and ‘Resignation’ of the Newcomers
Oliva Rodríguez Gutiérrez

7 The Urban Landscape of Roman Central Adriatic Italy
Frank Vermeulen

8 The Impact of Roman Rule on the Urban System of Sicily
Luuk de Ligt

9 Roman Towns and the Settlement Hierarchy of Ancient North Africa: A Bird’s-Eye View
Matthew Hobson

10 A Diachronic and Regional Approach to North African Urbanism
David Stone

11 Micro-regional Urbanism: An Ancient Urban Landscape in Roman North Africa
Paul Scheding

12 Urbanisation and Population Density: The Case of the ‘Small Municipia’ in the Balkan and Danube Provinces
Damjan Donev

13 Between the River and the Fort: Applying Critical Regionalism to Roman Towns in the Pannonian Basin
Dragana Mladenovic

14 Urban Networks in Early Roman Macedonia and Aegean Thrace
Michalis Karambinis

15 Regional Perspectives on Urbanism and Settlement Patterns in Roman Asia Minor
Rinse Willet

16 From Mountain to Coastal Plain: Settings of Settlements and Stages of Urbanisation in Ancient Lycia
Frank Kolb

All interested in the economic, social or administrative structures of the early Roman empire, and anyone concerned with the impact of the Roman conquest on pre-Roman societies.
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