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Brown Bag: Orienting Power: the adventus of a Roman governor

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
12:00 AM
Tisch Hall 1014

Abstract: My fifth chapter considers how a Greek city could, through the ceremonies surrounding a governor’s arrival, present its built environment as both an index of civic status and a template for the legitimate exercise of Roman authority. Three case studies, each intended to illustrate a different aspect of the civic presentation, orient the discussion. In the first, an Antonine proconsul’s reception at Ephesus is used to discuss how the settings of adventus not only foregrounded the assembled citizen body, but also articulated it in an architectural frame that emphasized its constituent parts and essential unity. The second case study traces a proconsul’s arrival at Miletus, and explores how the visual prominence granted to certain elements of the urban fabric in the course of his welcome reception generated a distinct image of the city’s past glories and present prominence. A newly-arrived proconsul’s experience of Pergamum, finally, illustrates how a city could use imperial statues, shrines, and architectural markers to manifest aspects of its loyalty to the Empire, and thus suggest the terms which predicated its relationship with Rome.

Garrett Ryan, PhD candidate in IPGRH