News and Frontier Consciousness in the Late Roman Empire

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University of Michigan Press, 2006 - History - 247 pages
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Prior to the third century A.D., two broad Roman conceptions of frontiers proliferated and competed: an imperial ideology of rule without limit coexisted with very real and pragmatic attempts to define and defend imperial frontiers. But from about A.D. 250-500, there was a basic shift in mentality, as news from and about frontiers began to portray a more defined Roman world—a world with limits—allowing a new understanding of frontiers as territorial and not just as divisions of people. This concept, previously unknown in the ancient world, brought with it a new consciousness, which soon spread to cosmology, geography, myth, sacred texts, and prophecy. The “frontier consciousness” produced a unified sense of Roman identity that transcended local identities and social boundaries throughout the later Empire.
 
Approaching Roman frontiers with the aid of media studies as well as anthropological and sociological methodologies, Mark W. Graham chronicles and documents this significant transition in ancient thought, which coincided with, but was not necessarily dependent on, the Christianization of the Roman world.
 
 
Mark W. Graham is Assistant Professor of History at Grove City College.
  

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Contents

List of Illustrations xv Abbreviations
1
Frontiers News and Worldview 1
11
Toward a Late Roman Cosmology of Space and Frontiers
27
The Roman Empire ca A D 395 xi
30
The victorious emperor defeating his enemies
33
West side of column base column of Arcadius
34
fines romanorum and Nisibis
37
Natural Frontiers in a Late Roman Worldview 5 1
51
Tigris from basilica nave
69
Base of obelisk of Theodosius at Constantinople
95
Column of Julian at Ancyra
109
Prophecy Divination and Frontiers
125
Standing emperor Valentinian? with globe
138
Bibliography
209
1 Index Locorum
239
Copyright

River gods on coin
68

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Mark W. Graham is Assistant Professor of History at Grove City College.

Bibliographic information