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PhD defence

Civitates Hispaniae: Urbanisation on the Iberian Peninsula during the High Empire

  • Pieter Houten
Wednesday 19 December 2018
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

The principal aims of this book are to provide a comprehensive reconstruction of the urban systems of the Iberian Peninsula during the High Empire and to explain why these systems looked the way they did. While some chapters focus on settlements that were cities or towns from a juridical point of view, the implications of using a purely functional definition of towns are also explored. Key themes include continuities and discontinuities between pre-Roman and Roman settlement patterns, the geographical distribution of cities belonging to various size brackets, economic relationships between self-governing cities and their territories, and the role of cities as nodes in road systems and maritime networks. In addition, it is argued that a considerable number of self-governing communities in Roman Spain and Portugal were polycentric rather based on a single urban centre.

Read the full summary (pdf) in Dutch.

Funding organisations

ERC Advanced Project “An Empire of 2,000 Cities” (FP 7/2007=2013, ERC Grant Agreement no. 324148)


  • Prof.dr. L. de Ligt
  • Prof.dr. J. L. Bintliff


PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282

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