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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the character of the chartered towns in Roman Britain, their mature form in the late second/early third centuries, and the social use of urban space. It explores the activities fostered by the buildings within towns. The forum and the town are shown to be the centre of political organization, enabling the new system of elite magistracies. The religious structures of the towns allowed for varied forms of ritual experience engendered by the relationships between temple and urban layout. The buildings for leisure activities—theatres, amphitheatres, and baths—also formed an essential part of the urban existence. The final group of buildings to be considered are those for living and working in; these were an early part of urban construction and illustrate the continued investment throughout the Roman period. The chapter concludes by considering the nature of variability between the urban centres of the province.

Keywords: urbanism, architecture, buildings, politics, temples, theatres, housing

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