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The first half of the second century ad was marked by an important event in the history of the ecumenical synods. They both acquired headquarters in Rome: the thymelic synod seemingly settled in a precinct on the Campus Martius and the xystic synod occupied a part of the great bath complex of Trajan on the Oppian hill. This chapter analyses the reasons for this shift and its consequences. The establishment of the Capitolia in ad 86 played a key role, as well as the desire of the synods to be closer to the imperial court. Furthermore, this chapter argues that the move to Rome strengthened centralising tendencies, as it had become easier to take central decisions for the whole agonistic circuit in close consultation with the emperor. Special attention in this chapter is given to the xystic synod’s headquarters, which is documented in a series of inscriptions found near the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli. Recent archaeological excavations on the Oppian hill have furthermore led to the conclusion that the synod was indeed settled in the bath-gymnasium complex of Trajan.
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