The « Piazzale delle Corporazioni » reconsidered: The architectural context of its change in use

Taco T. Terpstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper analyzes an Ostian monument, the so-called piazzale delle corporazioni, arguing that it is less unique than it seems now if put in architectural context. The paper includes a discussion on the building's prior use as a theater colonnade, comparing it to the porticus Pompeiana and the crypta Balbi in Rome. It further compares it to the « gladiators' barracks » in Pompeii, a space also used as a theater colonnade and subsequently employed for different purposes. The paper proposes that the piazzale was a building where ethnic networks of foreign traders and shipmasters connected with the Ostian business community as a way to overcome preindustrial constraints on long-distance trade. It concludes that, based on the view of the piazzale as a place facilitating inter-community exchange, dedication to the imperial cult is the most plausible suggestion for the piazzale temple.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalMelanges de l'Ecole Francaise de Rome:Antiquite
Volume126
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Crypta Balbi
  • Cult of vulcan
  • Ethnicity
  • Gladiators' barracks
  • Imperial cult
  • Long-distance trade
  • Overseas shipping
  • Pompeii
  • Theater of pompey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Archaeology

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