Everyday Secular Architecture in the Late Antique City

This thesis is designed to evoke the everyday architectural structures of Constantinople. Whilst most late antique occupation involves the continued occupation and repair of earlier structures, this is not true of the Eastern capital. Most parts of this great city were entirely built anew in the 4th c. Yet beyond the major public buildings we have little idea of the background urban landscape: the porticoes, markets, workshops, latrines, side streets and humble dwellings. Although snippets of information are becoming available from the city, insights are also available from the study of late antique secular public architecture in extensively excavated cities from around the Mediterranean. Whilst ecclesiastical and late antique elite houses have received attention, in terms of religious and social analysis, other structures, such as baths, porticoes, fountains, shops, xenodocheia and poor dwellings have not received much attention. There is a wealth of information available from the analysis of building techniques, functional design and overall aesthetics which relate to the lives of both those who built and lived in such structures. The chronological and regional variation in such building techniques is likely to be more significant in understanding the character of everyday life in late antique cities than those of prestigious structures.

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