The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity, AD 395-600

The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity, AD 395-600

The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity, AD 395-600

The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity, AD 395-600

Synopsis

The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquityprovides both a detailed introduction to late antiquity, and a direct challenge to the conventional views of the end of the empire.

A world expert on the subject, Averil Cameron focuses on the changes and continuities in Mediterranean society as a whole before the Arab conquests of the seventh century.

With modern, in-depth archaeological evidence, this all-round factual, historical and thematic study of the west and eastern empires will become the standard work on the period. With suggested specialized reading, it should already be an essential item on the reading lists of classical studies and archaeology students.

Excerpt

The shape and parameters of this book are explained by the fact that it was conceived as part of a series designed to replace the earlier Methuen History of the Ancient World, though of course the latter had no volume with the present scope, and the concept of 'late antiquity' still lay firmly in the future. As it happens, while the present volume (the last chronologically in the series) antedates the writing of that projected on the fourth century, it follows on from my own book in another series, the Fontana History of the Ancient World. Though entitled simply The Later Roman Empire, the latter effectively ends where the present book begins, with Augustine as the bridge. The effect therefore is that despite minor differences of format and scale between the two, the reader will find in them an introduction to the whole period of late antiquity from, roughly, the reign of Diocletian (AD 284-305) to the late sixth century AD, where A. H. M. Jones also ended his great work, The Later Roman Empire (Oxford, 1964).

As most people will be well aware, this period has been the focus of a great upsurge of interest in the generation that has passed since the publication of Jones's massive work; in the past twenty years it has found its way for the first time on to ancient history syllabuses in many universities, with corresponding effects on courses in medieval history and (where they exist) Byzantine studies. The addition of two extra volumes to the new edition of the Cambridge Ancient History (now in progress) is also symptomatic of this changed perspective; together, they will cover the period from the death of Constantine (AD 337) to the late sixth century. Peter Brown's small book, The World of Late Antiquity (London, 1971), still provides an exhilarating introduction from the perspective of cultural history. The influence of that book has been enormous, yet

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