The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: AD 395-700 (2nd Edition) (The Routledge History of the Ancient World)

The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: AD 395-700 (2nd Edition) (The Routledge History of the Ancient World)

Averil Cameron

Language: English

Pages: 315

ISBN: 0415579619

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This thoroughly revised and expanded edition of The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity, now covering the period 395-700 AD, provides both a detailed introduction to late antiquity and a direct challenge to conventional views of the end of the Roman empire. Leading scholar Averil Cameron focuses on the changes and continuities in Mediterranean society as a whole before the Arab conquests. Two new chapters survey the situation in the east after the death of Justinian and cover the Byzantine wars with Persia, religious developments in the eastern Mediterranean during the life of Muhammad, the reign of Heraclius, the Arab conquests and the establishment of the Umayyad caliphate.

Using the latest in-depth archaeological evidence, this all-round historical and thematic study of the west and the eastern empire has become the standard work on the period. The new edition takes account of recent research on topics such as the barbarian ‘invasions’, periodization, and questions of decline or continuity, as well as the current interest in church councils, orthodoxy and heresy and the separation of the miaphysite church in the sixth-century east. It contains a new introductory survey of recent scholarship on the fourth century AD, and has a full bibliography and extensive notes with suggestions for further reading.

The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity 395-700 AD continues to be the benchmark for publications on the history of Late Antiquity and is indispensible to anyone studying the period.

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abandoned by Honorius: ‘Honorius sent letters to the cities in Britain, urging them to fend for themselves.’16 Some of the troops in Britain, who had apparently supported usurpers before 406, remained in the province, but there was no longer a central authority, and Saxon raids now exacerbated the already confused situation. The rapid disappearance of Roman towns in Britain after several centuries of Roman rule is only one of the many puzzling features of the period.17 In mainland Europe, the

of the restoration of orthodoxy, made these problems even more acute. In the seventh century the papacy was again set on collision course with the new religious policies of mononergism (‘one energy’) and monotheletism (‘one will’) promoted under Heraclius (610–41) and opposed both in Rome and in the east (Chapter 9). Emperors and the church The emperors who followed Constantine were all Christian except for Julian (361–3) and all followed Constantine’s example of active participation in church

had to be filled on a regular basis, and the law codes assume that curiales frequently endeavoured to escape their lot and better themselves in the administration, the church or the army. This class as a whole was the subject of what Jones calls ‘a vast and tangled mass of legislation’, whereby the state attempted ineffectually to prevent the seepage and maintain the councils on whom the cities depended. This legislation did not attempt to address the overall problem, but was issued piecemeal and

surviving examples have much in common with classicizing historiography.43 But the impact of Christianization changed reading practices, especially through the availability of the Bible. A specifically Christian learning developed, with the early monastic communities in the west, as on the island of Lérins, setting a precedent in the late fifth century for the great medieval monastic centres of learning. A large body of sayings and lives of the ‘desert fathers’ (and a few ‘mothers’) in Egypt also

itself. Thus the ways in which women could enter the public sphere, though they existed for a few, were still limited. The pagan intellectuals Hypatia and Athenaïs, the latter the daughter of an Athenian philosopher who became empress (as Eudocia) after she had been taken up by the Emperor Theodosius’ pious sister Pulcheria (Chapter 1), were equally or even more exceptional. On the other hand, within the religious sphere, on a family basis or in the religious life, 143 THE M E DI T E R R A NE A

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