Institute of Classical Archaeology

The Basilica in Roman Palestine

Adoption and Adaption Processes, in Light of Comparanda in Italy and North Africa

The workshop aims at investigating the various roles and architectural layouts of the basilica in Roman Palestine and Arabia, in comparison to Italy, Sicily and North Africa. Through presentation of recent discoveries and comprehensions resulting from research and surveys it intends to broaden our knowledge of the diffusion of Roman influence into the eastern and southern provinces, as well as of the significant aspects of construction of self-identification of the urban citizens of the provinces between Roman rule and local traditions.
It will allow a better understanding of the agents who first introduced the basilica to these regions and the ways they adapted and adjusted this institution to local needs throughout the Roman era.
At the focal point of the workshop stand the cities of Roman Palestine. Despite significant archaeological remains, these cities were somewhat neglected in general discussions on Roman architecture, compared to other regions of the Empire, such as Asia Minor, Greece, Africa and Hispanic Peninsula. This lacuna is especially problematic, in light of the fact that in recent decades large-scale excavations in some of these cities have revealed the remains of remarkable buildings of this type, some of them are quite well preserved.
The workshop aims at addressing this gap in research and examining the topic of the basilica in Roman Palestine in light of comparanda from both Italy, at the heart of the Empire, as well as from the provinces of North Africa.

Institute of Classical Archaeology
University of Tübingen
December 5-6, 2019


Dr. Antonio Dell‘Acqua, University of Tübingen
Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Supported by

The Institutional Strategy of the University of Tübingen
(Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft ZUK 63)

Thursday, December 5th 2019

09:00   Welcome Reception and Opening Remarks

Opening Lecture

09:45 Matteo Cadario (Udine University) Sculptural Decoration and Display in the Roman Civic Basilicae

Panel 1 The Basilica in the Cities of Roman Palestine and Arabia

Chair: Orit Peleg-Barkat


Sa‘ar Ganor, Rachel Bar-Nathan (IAA, Jerusalem)

The Tel Ashqelon Roman Basilica in Light of Renewed Excavation: Archaeological and Stratigraphical Considerations

11:00 Antonio Dell‘Acqua (University of Tübingen) The Severan Basilica of Ashqelon and its Décor
11:30 Coffee Break
12:00 Rachel Bar-Nathan (IAA, Jerusalem) The Civic Center of Nysa Schythopolis: Forum, Basilica and Temples
12:30 Michael Eisenberg (University of Haifa) Reconstructing the Antiochia/Hippos Basilica and the Disappearance of Basilicae in 4th Century CE Syria-Palaestina
13:00 Jacques Seigne (CNRS) The Basilica and the Civic Centre of Gerasa
13:30 Lunch
Panel 2 The Roman Basilica in North Africa
Chair: Jacques Seigne
15:00 Giuseppe Mazzilli (Politecnico Bari, Macerata University) The Severan Basilica of Lepcis Magna: A Landmark Monument in North Africa
15:30 Linda Stoeßel (University of Tübingen) New Evidence from Tunisia: The Basilica of Meninx (Jerba) and Basilican Architecture in North Africa
16:00 Discussion
  Visit to the University Museum with the Curator Dr. Alexander Heinemann
19:30 Conference Dinner

Friday, December 6th 2019

Panel 3 The Basilica in the Jewish Cities of Roman Palestine
Chair: Michael Eisenberg


Orit Peleg-Barkat (HU, Jerusalem) Herod‘s Royal Portico on the Temple Mount: Between Historical Texts and Archaeological Finds


Rona Evyasaf (Technion, Haifa)

Rethinking the Beth Shea‘rim Basilica in Light of the New Excavations at Sheik Abreik Hill

10:00 Zeev Weiss, Shulamit Miller (HU, Jerusalem) Was the Monumental Building in Roman Sepphoris a Basilica? Archaeological Remains and a Proposed Identification
10:30 Coffee Break
Panel 4 Late Republic and Imperial Basilicae in Italy
Chair: Thomas Schäfer / Johannes Lipps
11:00 Patric Alexander Kreuz (Kiel University) The Basilica(e) of Minturnae
11:30 Martin Tombrägel (University of Tübingen)

The Basilicae in Late Republican Latium: The Case of Tivoli and Praeneste

12:00 Chiara Bozzi (Ca‘Foscari University Venice) What‘s New on the Civic Basilica in Luni?
12:30 Leonardo Fuduli (São Paulo University), Rocco Burgio (Soprintendenza di Messina) The Architecture of the Roman Basilica in Sicily: Case Studies from the Northern Coast Cities
13:00 Steffen Oraschewski (Köln University, La Sapienza Rome) Building Trajan‘s Basilica: An Analysis of the Efforts in Constructing an Ancient Monumental Building
13:30 Discussion and Concluding Remarks