Redefining the Urban Landscape in Hispania

Redefining the Urban Landscape in Hispania

Artículo de Pilar Diarte Blasco.

The transformations of public spaces in Hispanic cities between the third and the sixth century are the theme of this paper. Entertainment buildings are undoubtedly one of the most characteristic elements of the classical Roman cities. Indeed, theatres, amphitheatres and circuses are fundamental to our perception of them.
The processes of transformation of these major buildings in Late Antiquity, which varied in some aspects according to specific characteristics, had in common a general trend in the dismantling of part of its architecture and, above all, the growth of private use and of spoliation. The mutations that occurred in the late classical urban fabric were the beginning of a process that continued, in some cases, with the establishment of burial areas and, more rarely, with the appearance of Christian buildings. The wider ‘topographic Christianization’ took place once the classical city was already dissolved or, at least, immersed in that evolution. This paper identifies that this process did not develop strictly in the old public spaces. It took place after they had already fallen into abandonment and/or reoccupation and, of course, had lost their original use and part of their main appearance.

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