Urban space and aristocratic power in late antique Rome: AD 270-535

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book analyses the physical, social, and cultural history of Rome in late antiquity. Between AD 270 and 535, the former capital of the Roman empire experienced a series of dramatic transformations in its size, appearance, political standing, and identity, as emperors moved to other cities and the Christian church slowly became its dominating institution. Urban Space and Aristocratic Power in Late Antique Rome provides a new picture of these developments, focusing on the extraordinary role played by members of the traditional elite, the senatorial aristocracy, in the redefinition of the city, its institutions, and spaces. During this period, Roman senators and their families became increasingly involved in the management of the city and its population, in building works, and in the performance of secular and religious ceremonies and rituals. As this study shows, for approximately three hundred years the houses of the Roman elite competed with imperial palaces and churches in shaping the political map and the social life of the city. Making use of modern theories of urban space, the book considers a vast array of archaeological, literary, and epigraphic documents to show how the former centre of the Mediterranean world was progressively redefined and controlled by its own elite.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages317
ISBN (Electronic)9780191872839
ISBN (Print)9780198835073
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2019


  • Rome
  • Late antiquity
  • Urban space
  • Cities
  • Roman aristocracy
  • Roman Empire


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