City Gates in the Roman West
Forms and functions
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Similarly to medieval or early-modern city gates, Roman city gates did not all have the same design but show an evolution over time and depending on the circumstances: sometimes they appear as simple, narrow passages (which were easy to defend), sometimes as impressively monumental complexes (which were comfortable for increased traffic and were comparable in their function to triumphal arches: both served as symbols of urbanitas, expressing Roman power).
But city gates had more functions than being a part of the city defense system and the road infrastructure. In many cases, they played a role in the supply of drinking water and the removal of waste water. Furthermore they were connected to social and magico-religious aspects of city life.
This book brings together all available material concerning those city gates in the Roman West that are preserved in a good enough condition to be described and discussed. It focusses on the forms and functions of the gates. In addition, it comprises textual sources (both literary and epigraphic material) containing information on the uses of city gates.
1. City gates in the Middle East, Greece and Gaul
2. The first city gates: Wide enough for traffic
3. From single-portalled to three-portalled gates
4. The Empire: Imposing city gate complexes
5. Late Antiquity: Back to city defence
6. Five city gates in more detail
8. City defence
10. Water management
11. Status and decoration
12. Watching and toll
13. Meeting points and economy
14. Religion and magic
Summary and conclusion
Appendix 1. Dating city gates
Appendix 2. Plans of city gate types
Appendix 3. Dimensions of significant city gates