Art History and Archaeology
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Chair and Committee
Susan I Rotroff
This dissertation presents a study of monumental temples built or appropriated by the Romans in the province of Asia from the late 1st to the middle 2nd century AD. The practice of constructing extraordinarily large temples in Asia originated during the Hellenistic period but ceased for several centuries until the Roman Empire took control of the region and began to build monumental temples in the province. This study focuses on five temples that best represent the Roman relationship with monumental temple building in the province of Asia: the Wadi B Temple at Sardis, the Vetters Temple at Ephesus, the Red Hall at Pergamon, the Temple of Hadrian at Cyzicus, and the Temple of Artemis and Antoninus Pius at Sardis. In contrast to previous studies that examined each individual temple, this dissertation looks at them as a group according to their design, cult affiliation, size, and setting. Although each of the five temples is unique, they are unified by a shared monumentality, especially as it is encouraged by their syntheses of Roman and Greek design, affiliations with the Roman Imperial Cult, enormous sizes, and strategic placements.
This study confirms that a Roman Imperial campaign of monumental temple building existed in the province of Asia and concludes that the five representative temples appear to have been constructed to promote regional acculturation within the Roman Empire. By harnessing the local Asian tradition of monumentality, the Romans built the five noted temples to be prominent reminders of Roman Imperial rule that also emphasized the rich architectural and cultural history of the region. Through these five temples, therefore, the Romans evoked the memory of a fondly remembered regional past while at the same time affirming the contributions and the importance of the province and its cities to the Empire.
Findley, Andrew, "The Monumental Province: Asia and the Temples of the Roman Empire" (2013). All Theses and Dissertations (ETDs). 1204.