Ravenna was one of the most important cities of the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity. The city underwent a deep transformation at the beginning of the 5th century, from small Roman ‘Municipium’ to an Imperial capital city. This new role called for new centers of power, housing the Imperial Court and the new Bureaucratic body, a Bishop’s Palace, monuments of exhibition (e.g. the Circus). In addition a new city-wall, churches and others community zones were created; all following Late Antique models such as Milan, the previous capital, and of course Byzantium, the new Rome. An expansion of Ravenna’s infrastructures was also necessary, as for instance, new roads, warehouses, aqueducts, river’s bank and an appropriate sewage system. All these project were planned and realized during the two decades after the displacement of the Imperial See. This new Ravenna flourished in during the early Middle Ages as well, during which time it’s archbishop played an important role in the economy of northern-Italy. The idea of a capital, that was assumed by Ravenna, still attracted the Saxon emperors during the 10th century, while on tour to establish supremacy and gain acknowledgement inside the ‘Regnum Italiae’. The paper seeks to indicate the archaeological evidence related to the ‘longue durée’ of the urban settlement of Ravenna as a center of power and to highlight the gradual nature of its decline in the High Middle Ages.

Ravenna - Rise of a Late Antique Capital

CIRELLI, ENRICO
2010

Abstract

Ravenna was one of the most important cities of the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity. The city underwent a deep transformation at the beginning of the 5th century, from small Roman ‘Municipium’ to an Imperial capital city. This new role called for new centers of power, housing the Imperial Court and the new Bureaucratic body, a Bishop’s Palace, monuments of exhibition (e.g. the Circus). In addition a new city-wall, churches and others community zones were created; all following Late Antique models such as Milan, the previous capital, and of course Byzantium, the new Rome. An expansion of Ravenna’s infrastructures was also necessary, as for instance, new roads, warehouses, aqueducts, river’s bank and an appropriate sewage system. All these project were planned and realized during the two decades after the displacement of the Imperial See. This new Ravenna flourished in during the early Middle Ages as well, during which time it’s archbishop played an important role in the economy of northern-Italy. The idea of a capital, that was assumed by Ravenna, still attracted the Saxon emperors during the 10th century, while on tour to establish supremacy and gain acknowledgement inside the ‘Regnum Italiae’. The paper seeks to indicate the archaeological evidence related to the ‘longue durée’ of the urban settlement of Ravenna as a center of power and to highlight the gradual nature of its decline in the High Middle Ages.
Debating Urbanism: Within and Beyond the Walls
239
263
E. Cirelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/105555
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