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The Palace Of Theoderic At Ravenna: A New Analysis Of The Complex

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Chapter Summary

The late antique domus known as the 'Palace of Theoderic' at Ravenna was excavated in the early 20th c., according to methods that were considered advanced at the time, but which fall far short of modern stratigraphic excavation, depending for dating largely on the styles of mosaics. This chapter presents a re-analysis of the complex based upon observations from surviving field records. A new sequence of phases is presented, which reveals Early Roman domestic structures covered by a large domus of 4th c. date, which was embellished in the early to mid-5th c., the late 5th to early 6th c. and in the mid to late 6th c. A fountain was added in the Early Medieval period, after which the complex gradually deteriorated. The material evidence reinforces various topographical references in the Early Medieval and later written sources, which suggest that the complex really did function as Theoderic's palace.

Keywords: Early Medieval period; Early Roman domestic structures; late antique domus; Palace of Theoderic; Ravenna



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