Temples of divine rulers and urban transformation in Roman-Asia : the cases of Aphrodisias, Ephesos and Pergamon



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This study provides an in depth analysis of three temples dedicated to emperors in Roman Asia (western Asia Minor): the Temple of Divine Rulers at Aphrodisias, the Temple of Divine Rulers at Ephesus and the Temple of Zeus Philios and Trajan at Pergamon. Focusing on each case study in a separate chapter, the project provides a brief introduction to each city's history and a detailed discussion of each temple's name, dating, patronage structure, architectural form, sculptural program, and the application techniques of sculptural and architectural details. The study proposes an understanding of these temples as key monuments of constantly changing dynamic urban landscapes rather than simple symbolic gestures towards the Roman emperors. Utilizing Kevin Lynch's terminology, the project suggests close links between each monument and the already existing urban elements of each individual city, further strengthening its overall urban image. These structures were essential to their urban contexts, and their meanings and functions were directly linked to the culture and history of each city. Finally, the project demonstrates that through their architectural designs and sculptural programs, each temple emphasized the perspectives of the local elite. The methodology of the project involves a careful study of the city plans, an analysis of context-specific local features and finally a consideration of multiple-viewer perceptions. This dissertation aims to provide an alternative model for later studies in Roman provincial art and architecture.