Download A Companion to Late Antiquity by Philip Rousseau PDF

By Philip Rousseau

An obtainable and authoritative evaluation shooting the power and variety of scholarship that exists at the transformative period of time referred to as past due antiquity.

  • Provides a vital evaluation of present scholarship on overdue antiquity – from among the accession of Diocletian in advert 284 and the top of Roman rule within the Mediterranean
  • Comprises 39 essays from a few of the world's most desirable students of the period
  • Presents this once-neglected interval as an age of strong transformation that formed the trendy international
  • Emphasizes the important value of faith and its reference to monetary, social, and political life

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Extra resources for A Companion to Late Antiquity

Example text

While late antique aesthetics demanded transparency in representation, in order to guard the moral superiority of content, Photius, by appreciating transparency, begins to see the value of discourse as such. It is no coincidence, for instance, that he is unenthusiastic about such late antique allegorical theology as that of Maximus the Confessor (Bibl. 192). For Photius, allegorical theology demands a search for meaning behind, and regardless of, textual form. Photius’ evaluation of discourse brings to the fore a consciousness of form that is absent from the historiography of his own day; but he is not alone in his project.

In the first grand narratives of Byzantine historiography and historiography about Byzantium, the distinction between ‘‘Late Antiquity’’ and ‘‘Byzantium’’ is hardly ever made. While, from a modern perspective, this myth of monolithic continuity has been dismantled, it is another matter altogether to locate the consciousness of a break with Late Antiquity within Byzantine culture. Not that the Byzantines were insensitive to change or discontinuity (see Magdalino 1999). We can demarcate, for instance, Byzantium’s Hellenism or, even, Byzantium’s romanitas, for those were categories from which people in Byzantium could distance themselves.

An accompanying distrust of traditional labels, definitions, and classifications now prompts instead the question: how did a person living in this particular late antique society view both the world around them and themselves? Terms such as ‘‘magic’’ are now avoided in favor of talking about the supernatural or the preternatural, a dimension that seamlessly meshes with the world with which a late antique person engaged. There is an increasing move to view belief systems, such as religions, no longer as monolithic but as multifaceted, such that ‘‘Judaism’’ no longer describes a single belief system but many interrelated belief systems that coexisted along a sliding scale.

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