The Architectural Decoration in Roman Asia Minor
Sagalassos: a Case Study.
353 p., 450 ill. + maps, 210 x 295 mm, 1997
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The Ancient city of Sagalassos is located in the mountains of Pisidia in
South-Turkey. Because of the city's abandonment at the end of the sixth
or the beginning of the seventh century AD and its rapid burial under
slope deposits, the monumental constructions of the city are extremely
well-preserved and therefore offer a unique opportunity for architectural
study. The urban infrastructure of Sagalassos clearly dates back to the
Hellenistic age, but the majority of the preserved monuments were constructed
during the Roman Imperial period. Most of the ancient monuments remained
Through a detailed analysis of architectural decoration, the present study
tries to remedy this shortcoming. Comparison between the architectural
decoration of the Imperial monuments at Sagalassos and that in use in other
cities in Asia Minor whose buildings are better dated on epigraphical
grounds, has revealed similarities which clarify the chronology of the
buildings at Sagalassos. Due to the extensive reference material available
concerning all major ancient cities in this area, the present study can
therefore serve as a manual for the study of Roman Imperial architectural
decoration in Asia Minor as a whole. As a result of this study, two specific
periods of intense building activity can be defined in Sagalassos. The first
phase coincided with the Julio-Claudian period, when both agoras in the city
were embellished with honorific monuments. Some important complexes likewise
date to this period.
A second and perhaps more important flourish in building activity started
duringHadrian's reign and continued under the Antonine emperors and Septimus
Severus. The majority of the Roman buildings at the monumental centre of
Sagalassos date from this period, including important sacral and profane
monuments such as the Sanctuary of Antoninus Pius and the
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