Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Sabine Panzram (ed.), Oppidum - civitas - urbs. Städteforschung auf der Iberischen Halbinsel zwischen Rom und al-Andalus. Geschichte und Kultur der Iberischen Welt, 13. Münster: LIT-Verlag, 2017. Pp. 952. ISBN 9783643137500. €129,90.

Reviewed by Javier Martínez Jiménez, Churchill College; University of Cambridge (Jmj50@cam.ac.uk)

Version at BMCR home site

[Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]

This volume is the result of increasing collaboration between Spanish and German researchers. While German interest in the Iberian peninsula goes back to the days of Adolf Schulten and the establishing of a Madrid branch of the DAI, the DFG-funded Toletum network has for the last nine years further promoted collaborative interdisciplinary research (between historians, numismatists, classicists, and archaeologists). This collaboration has resulted in a series of annual workshops, the proceedings of some of which are included in this edited volume. A total of 39 papers (roughly half in Spanish and half in German), illustrated in colour, are organised into four sections plus a complete and useful index, summing up to nearly a thousand pages: spectacle buildings (resulting from the 2014 workshop), sculpture programmes (2013), late Antiquity (2015) and suburbs (2016). Each of these sections could have been turned into an individual, more coherent volume—the compilation of the four workshops into a single publication results in a cumbersome volume that lacks a clear driving question (beyond the very broad scope of urban contexts). This does not demerit the value of the individual papers, most of which are fantastic examples of the latest scholarship, and the editor is to be praised for putting the research papers in print. The volume, as promised in the title, covers the Iberian peninsula from the republican to the Islamic period, covering a wide range of cities across Spain (although with a surprising absence of Portuguese scholars and material). The first section (Spielstätten/spectacula) focuses mostly on theatres, with two framing chapters — one introducing the topic (Monterroso Checa, "Roma y el desarrollo de la arquitectura teatral en Hispania") and another serving as a state of the art discussion (Mar Medina and Arce, "Los teatros romanos de Hispania: un estado de la cuestión…"). López Barja de Quiroga ("Prodeia en la lex Ursonensis…") focuses on the reserved front seats in the theatre of Urso, concluding that local elites had preferential assigned seats in all cases, but those from outside the city (including the provincial governor!) could only claim such honour for particular games. It is very interesting to read this alongside Olmo López's paper ("Los escenarios de poder en las provincias…"), as theatres and other spectacle buildings are places where the community's dialectic link with the central administration could be seen. And, as is presented by Marcos ("Los edificios de espectáculos…"), the construction of these monuments responded to inter-city competition and peer polity interaction. Lastly, Röring ("Das augusteische Theater der Colonia Augusta Emerita") presents an architectural analysis to recreate the original phase of the theatre in Mérida, and Elies Ocón (Roma quanta fuit, ipsa ruina docet…") presents a summary of his doctoral thesis on the perception and reception of spectacula in Islamic, Umayyad contexts.

The second section (Skulpturenausstattung öffentlicher und privater Räume/sculpture programmes in public and private spaces) has, again, a "state of the art" concluding paper by Márquez Moreno ("Grupos escultóricos en la Hispania romana …"). The three first papers by Clavería Nadal ("La decoración escultórica de Barcino…"), Noguera Celdrán ("Die römischen Skulpturen von Carthago Nova…") and Ojeda Nogales ("Fragmentos de estatuas romanas…") focus on recent discoveries from Cartagena, Barcelona and Cádiz. The following two papers by Lehman ("… Zum Revival traditioneller Sepulkralplastik…") and Kobusch ("Ritual and Architektur in der Nrekropole von Carmona") focus on the sculpture practice in funerary contexts: the former more generically, and the latter on the specific example of Carmona. The remaining two papers by Marcks-Jacobs ("Stadträume im spätantiken Hispanien…") and Guidi Sánchez ("Programas escultóricos y decorativos en la Tarraco tardoantigua…") focus on the late antique phases, and how it was not always a case of destruction, but of adaptation and innovation.

The next section includes more papers than the previous two, but it does not address the issue of cities as clearly, with various outliers pursuing late antique tangents. Focusing on Spätantike/Late Antiquity, it again includes introductory and concluding chapters by Castellanos García ("Algunas notas sobre textos y arqueología…") and Panzram and Arbeiter ("Fokus Spätantike…"), the latter highlighting the recent increasing interest in this period, and the former with a caveat on the use of texts and archaeology. The second paper, by Végh ("Aspekte der Heiligenkulte…"), is a very concise and interesting analysis on the role of the cult of saints in urban communities, as seen from the written sources. The next chapter (Álvarez Melero, "Honesti, clarissimi e inlustres…") focuses very broadly on urban elites and their titulature, as based on the epigraphic record. The paper by Kreis ("Ein hispanischer Bischof am Hof des römischen Kaisers…") discusses the figure of Ossius and his rôle in Constantine's court. This is followed by two papers that tackle the site of Cercadilla: Córdoba (Hidalgo Prieto, "Der Palastkomplex Cercadilla…" and Brühlmann, "…Zur suburbanen Anlage von Cercadilla…"). The text by Abura ("…spätantike[n] Baudekoration aus Segobriga …") introduces a series of papers that focus more on late antique art. But while this first one is based on an urban site (Segobriga), the following two which deal with sculpted column capitals with hardly any relevant urban connection. Lastly, a similar point could be made about the remaining chapter by Rojas Rodríguez-Malo, et al. ("…Neue Ausgrabungen in Guarrazar…"), which presents in a single paper the results of the recent excavations at the extremely important and interesting site of Guarrazar (that were already available in Spanish).

The last section (Die Stadt ausserhalb der Stadt/suburbs) is, again, longer, with a concluding chapter by Váquerizo Gil ("Urbs extra moenia…"), most certainly the best expert on the topic for Iberia. The first two papers focus on inscriptions (Abascal Palazón, "Prácticas epigráficas urbanas y extraurbanas…"; and Campedelli, "…Miliaria provinciae Hispaniae Citerioris…"), followed by three more theoretical papers on the role of suburbs and other forms of non-urban nucleated settlements (Schneider, "…Mikroregionale Analysen im römischen Spanien"; Houten, "El papel de las aglomeraciones secundarias…"; and Romero Vera, "Las áreas suburbanas hispanas…"). Then there are five papers on specific case-studies: Los Bañales (Gross and Trunk, "Suburbium und Stadtweiterung…"), Huelva (Campos Carrasco and Bermejo Meléndez, "Los suburbios de Onuba Aestuaria…"), and Tarragona (Bergen, "Tarraco. Eine Hafenstadt in Hispanien…"; Lasheras González, "El suburbio portuario de Tarraco en la Antigüedad tardía…"; and Rodríguez Martorell, "Acerca de los conceptos teloneum, catabolus y cataplus…"). The last two-but-one papers in this section focus on the evolution of suburbs after the Islamic conquest (Valdés Fernández, "Zu den Folgen der Conquista…"; and Lorenzo Jiménez, "La suburbanización de las ciudades tardoantiguas…").

Overall, the volume provides with a wide range of papers that represent the current status of research on the broadly-defined area of Roman urbanism in the Iberian Peninsula during the Classical and late antique periods. The volume underlines the relevance of German research on Roman Iberia, and the multidisciplinary approach gives a deeper understanding of some topic, especially when various papers on the same issue are put together (like the suburb of Tarragona or the role of theatres in local and provincial politics). The publication is a great credit for the Toletum research network, although hopefully future volumes will be more coherent in their address and narrower in their scope—this would make them easier to digest and more relevant as a volume and not as a collection of essays.


Sabine Panzram – Deutsch-spanische Städteforshung – Tradition, Perspektiven und Bilanz – 1-26

Schwerpunktthema: Spielstätten
Antonio Monterroso Checa – Roma y el desarrollo de la arquitectura teatral en Hispania – 27-48
Pedro López Barja de Quiroga – Proedria en la Lex Ursonensis. Localidades preferentes en los espectáculos públicos a finales de la República – 49-72
Nicole Röring – Das augusteische Theater der Colonia Augusta Emerita – 73-86
Rubén Olmo López – Los escenarios del poder en las provincias: la utilización de los lugares de espectáculos por parte de los gobernadores romanos durante el principado – 87-106
Susana Marcos – Los edificios de espectáculos, indicadores sintomáticos de las relaciones urbanas – 107-30
Jorge Elices Ocón – Roma quanta fuit, ipsa ruina docet. Teatros, circos y anfiteatros y su recepción en al-Andalus – 131-56
Ricardo Mar Medina & Javier Arce – Los teatros romanos de Hispania: un estado de la cuestión y nuevas perspectivas – 157-76

Schwepunktthema: Skulpturenausstattung öffentlicher und privater Räume
Montserrat Clavería Nadal – La decoración escultórica de Barcino. Consideraciones a la luz de los datos conservados – 177-96
José Miguel Noguera Celdrán – Die römische Skulpturen von Carthago Nova: Material. Typologie, Kontext und Neuheiten – 197-228
David Ojeda Nogales – Fragmentos de estatuas romanas de bronce procedentes de Cádiz – 229-38
Janine Lehman – Gegen den Strom. Zum rRevival traditioneller Sepulkralplastik im kaiserzeitlichen Hispanien – 239-62
Philipp Kobusch – Ritual und Arkitektur in der Nekropole von Carmona – 263-86
Carmen Marcks-Jacobs – Stadträume im spätantiken Hispanien. Bedeutungsvelust und Demontage – 287-302
José Javier Guidi Sánchez – Programas escultóricos y decorativos en la Tarraco tardoantigua, s. VI-VII d.C. – 303-32
Carlos Márquez Moreno – Grupos escultóricos en la Hispania romana. Balance de una década de investigación – 333-46

Schwerpunktthema: Spätantike
Santiago Castellanos García – Algunas notas sobre textos y arqueología en el Regnum Gothorum de Hispania – 347-68
Judit Végh – Aspekte der Heiligenkulte im spätantiken Hispanien – 369-82
Anthony Álvarez Melero – Honesti, Clarissimi e inlulstres en la Hispania tardoantigua (ss. IV-VIII) – 383-400
Oliver Kreis – Ein hispanischer Bischof am Hof des römischen Kaisers. Welchen Eninfluss hatte Ossius von Corduba auf die Kirchenpolitik Konstantins des Grossen? – 401-28
Rafael Hidalgo Prieto – Der Palatskomplex Cercadilla in Córdoba und seine Umnutzung als christliche Kultstätte – 429-64
Beate Brühlmann – Die feinen Unterschiede: Zur suburbanen Anlage von Cercadilla und ihrer Stellung innerhalb der spätantiken Villen un Palastarchitektur – 465-92
Jenny Abura – Neue Forschungsergebnisse zu den Werkstattbeziehungen der spätantiken Baudekoration aus Segobriga (Saelices, Spanien) – 493-518
Fedor Schlimach – Die Kapitelle in Reccesvinths Basilika. Zur Verwendung von Spolien im 7. Jahrhundert – 519-34
Javier Ángel Domingo Magaña – Análisis de las corrientes estilísticas presentes en los capiteles hispanorromanos y visigodos: elementos clave para la formación del modelo mozárabe – 535-62
Juan Manuel Rojas Rodríguez-Malo, Christoph Eger, Raúl Catalán Ramos & Luis García Vacas – Wo einst goldene Kronen und Kreuze verborgen wurden. Neue Ausgrabungen in Guarrazar: Vorbericht zu den Kampagnen 2013 und 2014 – 563-96
Sabine Panzram & Achim Arbeiter – Fokus Spätantike oder: vom Boom einer Epoche auf der Iberischen Halbinsel – 597-612

Schwerpunktthema: Die Stadt ausserhalb der Stadt: suburbia
Juan Manuel Abascal Palazón – Prácticas epigráficas y extraurbanas en el conventus lucensis (Hispania Citerior) – 613-36
Camilla Campedelli – CIL XVII/1,1: Miliaria provinciae Hispaniae Citerioris Tarraconensis. Arbeitsmethoden, Fragen und Forschungsperspektive – 637-56
Jan Schneider – Vergleich ländlicher Siedlungsstrukturen: Mikroregionale Analysen im römischen Spanien – 657-80
Pieter Houten – El papel de las aglomeraciones secundarias en las civitates dispersas – 681-708
Diego Romero Vera – Las áreas suburbanas hispanas en el s. II d.C. Una lectura sincrónica – 709-22
Philipp Gross & Markus Trunk – Suburbium und Stadtweiterung: Bemerkungen zu Ober- und Unterstadt von los Bañales (Uncastillo, Zaragoza) – 723-38
Juan Manuel Campos Carrasco & Javier Bermejo Meléndez – Los suburbios de Onuba Aestuaria: el área portuaria – 739—66
Caroline Bergen – Tarraco. Eine Hafenstadt in Hispanien. Neue Anregungen zu einem alten Zwiespalt – 767-86
Ada Lasheras González – El suburbio portuario de Tarraco en la Antigüedad tardía: modelos de ocupación y evolución urbana entre los siglos III y VIII – 787-810
Francesc Rodríguez Martorell – Acerca de los conceptos teloneum, catabolus y cataplus en las fuentes francas y visigodas: el caso del puerto de Tarracona – 811-32
Fernando Valdés Fernández – Zu den Folgen der Conquista auf der Iberischen Halbinsel in der Urbanistik: die Vororte, Kontinuität oder Wandel? – 833-60
Jesús Lorenzo Jiménez – La suburbanización de las ciudades tardoantiguas en torno a Tudela en época emiral – 861-78
Desiderio Vaquerizo Gil – Urbs extra moenia … Ciudad y suburbio en la Hispania Romana – 879-96

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