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City Making In Byzantine Athens

  • 16 Oct 2022
  • 3:00 PM (CDT)
  • Sabin Hall, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 3413 N. Downer Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States

City Making In Byzantine Athens

AIA Society: Milwaukee
Lecturer: Fotini Kondyli

My work seeks to reconstruct the topography and spatial layout of Byzantine Athens (4th-15th c AD), and better understand contemporary living conditions and socio-economic activities in the city. Emphasis is placed on city-making processes and particularly the role of non-elite, ordinary people in them. Like modern cities, Byzantine ones were stages of key political events ranging from rituals that celebrated imperial power to riots and acts of resistance. I thus approach Byzantine cities as highly political environments and explore city-making activities as political actions. In doing so, I pay equal attention to monumental public spaces as well as streets, open unbuilt areas, and common areas out and around houses. I also examine changes in the urban environment that point to ordinary people’s involvement and consider the impact of such activities in enhancing their social capital and political influence. My project provides new approaches to the reconstruction of Byzantine cities by attempting to rewrite Athens’ history from the perspective of ordinary people’s individual and collective experiences. It also contributed to a diachronic study of urban phenomena including civic groups, urban planning, and political action.

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