The public places of the cities of western Asia Minor were shaped primarily by power relations between mass and elite. Although the elite-dominated councils that effectively governed most cities were more powerful than ever before, civic politics continued to be phrased in democratic terms. The resultant tensions between popular expectations and elite ambitions found expression in public space, where local notables created monumental landscapes that simultaneously advertised their democratic credentials and their exceptional status. These cityscapes – characterized by imposing streets and plazas, long lines of honorific statues, and massive sculptural ensembles – facilitated the negotiation and display of elite authority. They were correspondingly well-suited for the purpose of receiving Roman governors.