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To build for romanis suis. Public construction during the reign of Diocletian

Monica Hellström

The project that I'm working on has the title 'To build for romanis suis. Public construction during the reign of Diocletian'. As the title suggests, building projects form the main part of my material. My catalogue includes all forms of public works; from monumental construction in cities such as theatres and basilicas, to infrastructure such as roadwork and aqueducts, by all builders, whether private men, cities, or imperial representatives. What I am mainly interested in are social aspects of construction; that is, who builds, and for whom? My query forms part of a larger question regarding loyalty formation, and how ruler as well as subject regarded their respective roles in the Roman empire. When emperors build, who are they trying to court? Whose favor is regarded essential for the stability of the state? I have looked closely at building projects over a long period, in a small number of regions, to try to elucidate how imperial activity relates to the established patterns of elite construction. Of particular interest has been to elucidate whether there were conflicts between imperial authorities and provincial elites, competing for influence over local populations. My sources are first and foremost epigraphy, but I also refer to archeological material pertaining to construction as well as economics, and textual sources, especially documentary. I expect to be writing for one, at the most two more years.

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