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Id 2218
Author Siwicki C.
Title An ancient debate on urban renewal and built heritage: Dio Chrysostom and the city of Prusa

Siwicki C. An ancient debate on urban renewal and built heritage: Dio Chrysostom and the city of Prusa,Urban History 50 1

Keywords Bursa Bursa (PRV) ; Bursa Turkey ; Turkey; cultural heritage; political history; research work; Roman era; urban economy; urban history; urban renewal; urbanization
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Abstract Scholarship on architecture and urbanism in antiquity has focused on building activity and investment in the fabric of cities as positive processes, typically starting from the assumption that such developments were welcomed by inhabitants - but were they? This article examines objections to urban renewal and the construction of monumental public building in the Roman world. Specifically, it focuses on the city of Prusa and the controversy surrounding the renovation of its civic centre by the local politician Dio Chrysostom in the early 2nd century AD. Using speeches and letters written at the time, the article presents both a new interpretation of this specific episode and brings to the fore the rarely articulated and yet highly controversial nature of building projects that are traditionally thought of as being beneficial. In the conclusion, we also see how this example contributes to research on the issue of heritage as a pre-modern phenomenon. Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press.



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