Gates in Late Antiquity

In the Eastern Mediterranean.

The most conspicuous monumental achievementsof Late Antiquity visible today are without doubt urban fortifications and Christian churches. The high visibility of both building types results from  the solidness of their construction, which, at least in the case of fortifications, was required to fulfil their initial purpose of defence.

However, unlike churches in which luxury was most often a compulsory constituent, the circuit wall has generally been considered a more prosaic component of the late antique city, an obligatory adjustment of the open Roman town to the 'troubled circumstances of the period'. When structures were erected for a functional purpose, this does not automatically imply that they cannot comprise imaginative elements intended for other, less-pressing objectives.

The most visible sections of an urban fortification were those through which all traffic to and from the centre had to pass - the gates. Indeed, it is hardly surprising that they came to play an extraordinary part in shaping and presenting a town to outsiders. Just as the frontage and main entrance of a public building or house was the first feature with which a visitor came into contact, so were the fortification walls and the passages into the enclosed area conceived as the façades of a settlement, whether the circuit wall surrounded the entire built-up area or not.

Read More

Article and Image Source:

Author: Ine Jacobs

Ine Jacobs

Latest Articles








Date and Time to be 

announced soon


~ Additional Features ~