Water for the City, Fountains for the People

Water for the City, Fountains for the People : Monumental Fountains in the Roman East: An Archaeological Study of Water Management

By (author) Julian Richard

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Archaeological research has brought to light dozens of ancient monumental fountains. For any well-to-do urban center, they were a necessary utilitarian and aesthetic amenity. In Roman times, public fountains reached a degree of architectural opulence and technical complexity never seen before. Through the statues and inscriptions displayed on their facades, they acted as powerful bearers of individual and collective identities. In traditional scholarly research, this representative dimension of monumental fountains is generally strongly emphasized, to the detriment of their essential role in the provision of water to urban centers. The aim of this monograph is to explore the rich utilitarian dimension of monumental fountains in the Roman East, from their relationship to the aqueduct to the various technical details involving the distribution, display, use and drainage of water. Issues such as user-friendliness, hygiene and the preservation of water under harder climatic conditions will be examined as well, following a diachronic perspective that also includes the later evolution of public fountains in Late Antiquity. Exploring the utilitarian dimension of monumental fountains reestablishes the balance with their representative function: this is the most accurate way of explaining their stunning success in the cities of the Mediterranean.

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  • Paperback | 307 pages
  • 208.28 x 294.64 x 17.78mm | 1,111.3g
  • 28 Feb 2013
  • Brepols Publishers
  • Turnhout
  • English
  • 250353449X
  • 9782503534497

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Author Information

Dr. Julian Richard is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) and research assistant at the KU Leuven (Belgium). Since 2004, he has been involved in the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. His research focuses on water archaeology and Roman public architecture in the Eastern Mediterranean

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