The socio-spatial organisation of ancient cities - New volume funded by ROOTS published open access


Studies on ancient urbanity either concern individual buildings or the city as a whole. A new volume, edited by Annette Haug, Adrian Kröger-Hielscher of Kiel University (CAU) and Anna-Lena Krüger of the HafenCity Universität Hamburg, instead addresses a meso-scale of urbanity: the socio-spatial organisation of ancient cities. Its temporal focus is on Late Republican and Imperial Italy, and more specifically the cities of Pompeii and Ostia. Referring to a praxeological and phenomenological perspective, it looks at neighbourhoods and city quarters as basic categories of design and experience. With the terms ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘city quarter’ the volume proposes two different methodological approaches: Neighbourhood here refers to the face-to-face relation between people living next to each other – thus the small-scale environment centred around a house and an individual.
Neighbourhoods thus do not constitute a (collectively defined) urban territory with clear borders, but are rather constituted by individual experiences. In contrast, city quarters are understood as areas that share certain characteristics.

The volume is the outcome of an international and interdisciplinary conference held in November 2021 in the Antikensammlung of the CAU, organised by Christian Beck and Annette Haug. Both the conference and the publication are the result of a fruitful und inspiring collaboration of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS and its subcluster Urban ROOTS and the ERC Consolidator Grant DECOR – Decorative Principles in Late Republican and Early Imperial Italy.

The volume is freely available online.  

Annette Haug, Adrian Hielscher-Krüger and Anna-Lena Krüger: Neighbourhoods and City Quarters in Antiquity - Design and Experience. Decorative Principles in Late Republican and Early Imperial Italy (Decor) Vol. 7. Berlin/Boston 2023.


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