chapter  5
The built environment of Berytus
Pages 25

Self-identification is shaped by external environment, especially the built physical matrix of a city. The construction of civic space and the organization of political life reflect shared perceptions about the ideal city and the ideal citizen. In the cities of the Greek East, provision was made for political participation by prominent citizens in a boule (council). Honor was obtained by service in political office, especially in the city itself. Religious functions were served by temples either in the city or at adjacent sanctuary sites. Euergesia, public benefaction by the wealthy citizens toward the city for the benefit of all citizens, was expected and praised.