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Cover von: Urban Religion beyond the City Limits
Michael Blömer

Urban Religion beyond the City Limits

Rubrik: Articles
Jahrgang 9 (2023) / Heft 3, S. 425-443 (19)
Publiziert 06.03.2024
DOI 10.1628/rre-2023-0026
Veröffentlicht auf Englisch.
In ancient cities, space, social organisation, and religion were closely intertwined. Religion shaped space and space shaped religion. Density, concentration, and rapid exchange were key factors in this process and distinguished the urban environment from the non-urban. Yet, we must consider the fact that in many cities the major sanctuaries were located outside the perimeter of the city walls. They were extraurban. Examples are legion. The distance between a city and her main sanctuary could be so substantial that frequent or spontaneous visits were impossible. Extraurban cults played an important role in the religious life of many cities and were crucial for the forging of urban identity, but the dynamics of interaction between urban dwellers and sacred space differed from the dynamics we see in intra-urban sanctuaries. Therefore, an urban archaeology of religion needs to include extra-urban sanctuaries and consider the distinctive ways in which they interacted with the distant urban space. In this contribution, three prominent cities of Roman Anatolia and North Syria with major extra-urban sanctuaries are discussed: Antioch on the Orontes, Amaseia in Pontus, and Caesarea in Cappadocia.