A unique variety of approaches to all aspects of urban culture in the ancient world can be found in
Urban Dreams and Realities in Antiquity, a collection of 19 essays addressing ancient cities from an interdisciplinary perspective. As the title indicates, the volume considers both how ancient people lived in their cities as physical structures and how they thought with them as ideas and symbols.
Essays in this volume deal with texts and sites from Spain to South India, but there is a particular focus on the archaeology and epigraphy of Roman-era Italy, civic identity in the Roman provinces, the Hebrew Bible and Early Christian literature, Vergil and other imperial Latin authors.
Adam Kemezis is associate professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta and author of
Greek Narratives of the Roman Empire under the Severans (Cambridge, forthcoming) and several articles on Imperial Roman literature and history.
Contributors are: Ehud Ben Zvi, Christer Bruun, Raymond L. Capra, Fabio Colivicchi, Edward Dandrow, Megan Daniels, Owen M. Ewald, Tanya K. Henderson, Steven Hijmans, Adam M. Kemezis, Eric Kondratieff, Ralph J. Korner, Matthew Maher, Aloka Parasher-Sen, Darryl A. Phillips, Daniel Unruh, Emily Varto, LuAnn Wandsnider, Josef Wiesehöfer and Ian Douglas Wilson.
"The volume’s structure mirrors its theme, as the groupings themselves reflect qualities of a city—cohesive and planned, yet organic and sprawling. (...) The volume as a whole functions as an extended meditation on the epistemological and theoretical problem referenced in the title—the relationship between urban 'dreams' and urban 'realities.' Although each author displays preferences for certain types of evidence (remains or representations), no one takes the 'dreams' either more or less seriously than the 'realities.' Indeed, central to the volume are two implicit acknowledgements: 1) that the ancient urban 'realities' are inaccessible to the modern scholar except by means of imaginative approaches, and 2) that urban 'dreams' no less 'real' than their material counterparts." Jordan Conley (Boston University)
Table of contents
List of Contributors
Adam M. Kemezis
Part 1 - City as Space i: Remains on the Ground 1 In Defense of Arkadia: The City as a Fortress
Matthew Maher 2 The
Mundus of Caere and Early Etruscan Urbanization
Fabio Colivicchi 3 “Fighting Over a Shadow?”: Hellenistic Greek Cities and Greco-Roman Cities as Fora and Media for Multi-Level Social Signaling
LuAnn Wandsnider 4 Constructing an Oscan Cityscape: Pompeii and the
Tanya K. Henderson 5 Unraveling the Reality of a ‘City’ on the Deccan Plateau
Aloka Parasher-Sen 6 Monumentalising the Ephemeral in Ancient Rome
Part 2 - City as Space ii: Landscapes in Literature 7 Future City in the Heroic Past: Rome, Romans and Roman Landscapes in
Eric J. Kondratieff 8 Reading the Civic Landscape of Augustan Rome:
Aeneid 1.421–429 and the Building Program of Augustus
Darryl A. Phillips 9 The Predatory Palace: Seneca’s
Thyestes and the Architecture of Tyranny
Daniel B. Unruh 10 Imperial Roman Cities as Places of Memory in Augustine’s
Confessions Owen M. Ewald
Part 3 - City as Identity i: Cultures in Stone 11 Sacred Exchange: The Religious Institutions of
Emporia in the Mediterranean World of the Later Iron Age
Megan Daniels 12 Greek Poleis in the Near East and Their Parthian Overlords
Josef Wiesehöfer 13 Civic Identity in Roman Ostia: Some Evidence from Dedications (Inaugurations)
Christer Bruun 14 Chariot Racing in Hispania Tarraconensis: Urban Romanization and Provincial Identity
Raymond L. Capra
Part 4 - City as Identity ii: Communities on Paper 15 The Seat of Kingship: (Re)Constructing the City in Isaiah 24–27
Ian Douglas Wilson 16 Remembering Pre-Israelite Jerusalem in Late Persian Yehud: Mnemonic Preferences, Memories and Social Imagination
Ehud Ben Zvi 17 Memory and the Greek City in Strabo’s
Geography Edward Dandrow 18 The
Ekklēsia of Early Christ-Followers in Asia Minor as the Eschatological New Jerusalem: Counter-Imperial Rhetoric?
Ralph J. Korner 19 From Kinship to State: The Family and the Ancient City in Nineteenth-Century Ethnology
Those interested in the history and archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean, Near East and South Asia, also Latin literature, Hebrew Bible and Early Christianity, and comparative study of pre-modern cities.