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The Christianization of Space along the via Appia: Changing Landscape in the Suburbs of Rome

Lucrezia Spera
American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 107, No. 1 (Jan., 2003), pp. 23-43
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40026565
Page Count: 21
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The Christianization of Space along the via Appia: Changing Landscape in the Suburbs of Rome
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Abstract

This article examines the changes caused by the Christianization of the area along the Via Appia between the third and seventh century and its implications for our knowledge and understanding of the evolution of the suburban landscape in the Late Antique city. During the mid-Imperial period this area was characterized by a complex system of roads, residential districts, farms, and funerary monuments. Starting from the late second century, it was increasingly devoted to the creation of "Christian spaces," first in the form of surface and subterranean funerary complexes, and later with churches and monuments associated with the presence of the martyrs' tombs. In the fourth and early fifth century, the presence of Christian cemeteries, between the Aurelian Wall and the third milestone, contributed also to the growth of secondary access roads to the funerary complexes.

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