In mid-imperial (late first to mid-third century) Asia Minor, visually unified cityscapes played a critical role in the strategies local elites used to bolster their corporate authority. The construction of formalized public spaces facilitated the display of wealth and status in the traditionally isonomic world of civic politics. The rhetorical practice of describing cities as physical and socio-cultural unities demonstrated a community's – and especially its leading citizens' – possession of qualities instrumental in competition with local rivals. As presented in the context of public ritual, finally, harmonious urban landscapes were used to convince travelling imperial officials that cities and their elites conformed to Roman expectations.

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