This Ph.D. project investigates the continuity of Greek polis institutions during the Roman imperial period and investigates how the political „trappings“ of Greek cities developed under Roman rule. The study focuses on the prytaneion as a building type and the prytanis as an institution which had a special significance in the context of the polis as symbolic center of the city.
This research project explores four central questions, using archaeological, epigraphic and literary sources for the entire Mediterranean:
1. Where and for how long were prytaneia and prytaneis of importance and can regional differences and tendencies be identified?
2. Can changes in function of the buildings and in tasks for office holders be determined?
3. How did prytaneia and the prytanis develop in comparison to other Greek polis institutions (especially the bouleuterion and the boule)?
4. How can the continuation or possible discontinuity be culturally contextualized and explained?
The investigation will include a contextualisation of the buildings and the institutions within the cityscapes, in physical as well as conceptual terms, in order to evaluated the role of prytaneia and prytanis in cities of the Imperial period. As a first result it can be concluded that this institution was an important part of the Poleis in cities of Asia Minor in the Imperial period. The prytaneion fulfilled central traditional functions until the 3rd century AD and the prytanis can also be found in numerous cities of Asia Minor up to the mid-Imperial period.
This Ph.D. thesis is being written within the program Landscape Archaeology and Architecture (LAA) of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).