Theses Doctoral

Inventing Roman Bithynia: Rural Cultures and Identities in the 1st-3rd Centuries CE

Sokolowski, Deborah

This dissertation is a cultural history of Bithynia, a province of the Roman empire located in northwestern Turkey, in the 1st-3rd centuries CE. In Bithynia, rural settlements dominated the landscape, such that we might speak of cities as “islands” among the countryside. There is substantial evidence for the cultures of these people, in some 1,400 monuments which were carved with text and image primarily for religious and funerary purposes. This dissertation studies these inscriptions in order to write a fuller cultural history of Bithynia. It argues that cultural divides between rural and urban were in fact very permeable, and moreover that geographical boundaries between Bithynia and her neighbor, Phrygia, were also quite fluid. Yet at the same time, cultural differences between the two regions, as well as within Bithynia itself, can also be detected.


  • thumnail for Sokolowski_columbia_0054D_17325.pdf Sokolowski_columbia_0054D_17325.pdf application/pdf 31.8 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Classical Studies
Thesis Advisors
Ma, John T.
De Angelis, Francesco
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 13, 2022