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Political Space In Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

Political, social and religious space in Late Antiquity differs from commercial, productive and domestic space for a number of reasons. Architecture can be a useful source, as political and religious buildings had distinctive forms, but these forms did not always relate closely to the exact function of buildings. It has long been stressed that imperial and royal palaces were residences, built in the tradition of elite domestic architecture. Praetoria combine residential and administrative activities in the headquarters of a government official. Law courts have left no stratigraphic trace. Sources are mainly literary texts or depictions. The internal evolution of fort plans has mainly been discussed as evidence of reduced unit-size and/or an increasingly defensive mentality, by Coelle, Nicasie and others.

Keywords: architecture; fort plans; Late Antiquity; law courts; political space; praetoria

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