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Roman Butrint (Paperback)

An Assessment

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces > Roman Archaeology

Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Butrint Archaeological Monographs
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781789257335
Published: 15th November 2021
Casemate UK Academic


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Butrint, ancient Buthrotum , has taken many forms in different ages, shaped by the near-constant interaction between  the place, its lagoonal landscape and the Mediterranean. Though Butrint does not appear on any of the records of early Greek  colonisation to identify it as a Corcyrean settlement, strong  links must have existed between it and the metropolitan Corinthian colony of Corfu. Blessed with springs that possessed  healing qualities, a small polis was created - extended to incorporate a healing sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius. Julius Caesar, harbouring at Butrint in urgent need of supplies to sustain his struggle against Pompey, must have viewed the sanctuary, ringed  by largely dried-out marshland, as the perfect site to settle  veterans as a colony. It was an obvious cornerstone in controlling the passage from the Adriatic to the Aegean. The early settlers seem to have been limited in number and possibly  mainly of civilian status. However, the political changes to the city's magistrature were immediate, and within a relatively short  time-span fundamental changes to the physical make-up of the city were set in motion. Its new Roman status also located Butrint as a directly before the highest authorities in Rome, and within  fifteen years or so, under Augustus's guidance following his  victory at Actium, the city was refounded as a colony and awarded  a pivotal role in Virgil's court-sponsored foundation epic, The Aeneid. Now linked to the Victory City of Nicopolis rather than in the shadow of Corfu, Butrint prospered. The urban fabric  evolved, sometimes faltered, but was essentially sustained until  the later 6th century A.D. This present volume is an assessment of the Roman archaeology, a compilation of studies and field  reports that focuses upon the foundation and early history of the  colony.

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