A Arquitectura Doméstica de Conimbriga e as Estruturas Económicas e Sociais da Cidade Romana
The present thesis is constituted by a general study of the domestic architecture of the Roman town of Conimbriga (prov. Lusitania), divided in two parts. The study proper is preceded by a context setting of the available evidence, under three main points-of-view: previous research and the advancement of knowledge on the subject; the actual contexts of research in what concerns the main problems of the chronology of buildings and their ocumentation, and the global picture of what is known about the domestic architecture in the Roman Empire. The first part of the study is built upon the systematic analysis of the twenty seven domestic buildings known in the town, in their entirety or just partially, and a reference to two buildings not considered in the study for various reasons. The town itself is excavated to 15% of its original maximum extent. Of the known buildings reference is made to the nature, extension and origin of available information; their structures are described and their chronology and architecture is considered; residential units are catalogued. The catalogue of the residential units is the essential element to understand the internal articulation of the buildings and it is the necessary basis for the support of some conclusions henceforth. The second part of the study is composed by closer examinations of the more relevant aspects of the reality under scrutiny, namely, the ecological aspect of building activities in the town, the historical, artistic and ethnographic models of the constructions, and – central element in the thesis – the connections between domestic architecture program and their underlying ideology (under the perspective of the Wertbegriff). To this element an analysis of the ideological expression of decorative programs in the main residences mosaics is added. The relationships between recognized elements allow for the identification of distinct of distinct urban settings (as proposed by A. Rapoport) and this line of enquiry is also developed. Of particular importance under this topic is, beyond the identification of a very fine mesh of situations of residential units that can be classified under the traditional label of domus or insulae, the possibility of finding some units of semi-public character, that can be identified with seats of corporations or associations, and thus to be designated as scholae. The social and economic structure of the town is approached through a reconstitution of the population numbers, their social stratification and the economic value of the domestic construction, as means of expression of that stratification. The conclusions are mainly centered on proposals of interpreting the analyzed data as illustration of an innovative concept of “Romanization” as a process of enculturation, through which local populations recentered their position in a new (Roman) cultural and political sphere with a new cognitive process, enhanced mainly by internal competition about a privileged social status, expressed by individual adhesion to a Roman habitational practice, with deep consequences in the cultural, social and economical realms.
Author: Virgílio Nuno Hipólito Correia
Edition: Centro de Estudos Arqueológicos das Univ. de Coimbra e Porto; DGPC; Liga de Amigos de Conimbriga
Date: Jan. 1, 2013
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