Laura Pfuntner, Urbanism and Empire in Roman Sicily
Keywords:Urbanism, Empire, Roman Sicily
Roman rule signalled radical changes in the urban systems of the Mediterranean. More complex is the understanding of the restructuring that occurred in the Greek speaking lands, where a dense network of poleis existed already since the Archaic period. In the province of Achaia, although the basic elements of its Classical past were maintained (e.g., a modular urban system with hundreds of self-governing poleis which were sustained mainly by surpluses produced in their territories), in the Roman period this area was characterized by a significantly smaller number of cities and rural sites, in respect to pre-Roman times. Of great importance was the establishment of a few highly-centralized administrative centres of free or colonial status and economically privileged, that now became the focus of Roman administration and wealth. The majority of minor centres had from now on a marginal role, and many of them remained completely outside the new economic system.
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