Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol 30, No 2 (2017)

Sacred Townscapes in Late Antique Greece: Christianisation and Economic Diversity in the Aegean

Athanasios K. Vionis
Issued Date: 11 Jan 2018


The towns and surrounding rural areas of the Eastern Roman Empire experienced a remarkable boom during Late Antiquity (late fourth to seventh century ad), which involved both extraordinary diversity from region to region but also continuities and parallel transformations in town size and monumentality. Early investment in church and fortification building on behalf of an ecclesiastical and secular/urban elite gave way to a gradual, progressive ‘Christianisation’ of townscapes in the late fifth and sixth centuries ad. This was a ‘global’ phenomenon, in that it began in many parts of the eastern Mediterranean world at more or less the same time, and this paper focuses on the example of central and southern Greece to discuss how this process relates to issues of urban diversity during this period. The article draws from a data set of excavated remains at Athens in Attica and Corinth in the Peloponnese, and from recent survey work in Tanagra in Boeotia.

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DOI: 10.1558/jmea.35403



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