Place and placemaking in Roman civic feasts
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Contemporary theory on human interaction with the built environment focuses on the creation of place (“placemaking”). A place is defined as a given section of the environment to which humans have assigned appropriate feelings and behaviors. Using the Roman civic feast as a test case, this paper applies the model of placemaking proposed by Amos Rapoport to the built environment of Ancient Rome with the civic feast as a test case. I look to epigraphic, literary, visual, and archaeological evidence for the set of appropriate behaviors assigned to places of civic feasting (“Feasting Places”). This investigation involves laying out the theoretical framework, the physical circumstances of the Feasting Place, behaviors of Romans within it, and evidence for Romans distinguishing Feasting Places from other places. In conclusion, Romans do in fact distinguish between places by means of environmental cues, as evidenced by the case of the civic feast.