Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World

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Glen Warren Bowersock, Peter Brown, Oleg Grabar
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999 - History - 780 pages
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The first book of its kind, this richly informative and comprehensive guide to the world of late antiquity offers the latest scholarship to the researcher along with great reading pleasure to the browser. In eleven comprehensive essays and in over 500 encyclopedic entries, an international cast of experts provides essential information and fresh perspectives on the history and culture of an era marked by the rise of two world religions, unprecedented political upheavals that remade the map of the known world, and the creation of art of enduring glory.

By extending the commonly accepted chronological and territorial boundaries of the period--to encompass Roman, Byzantine, Sassanian, and early Islamic cultures, from the middle of the third century to the end of the eighth--this guide makes new connections and permits revealing comparisons. Consult the article on "Angels" and discover their meaning in Islamic as well as classical and Judeo-Christian traditions. Refer to "Children," "Concubinage," and "Divorce" for a fascinating interweaving of information on the family. Read the essay on "Barbarians and Ethnicity" and see how a topic as current as the construction of identity played out in earlier times, from the Greeks and Romans to the Turks, Huns, and Saxons. Turn to "Empire Building" to learn how the empire of Constantine was supported by architecture and ceremony.

Or follow your own path through the broad range of entries on politics, manufacturing and commerce, the arts, philosophy, religion, geography, ethnicity, and domestic life. Each entry introduces readers to another facet of the postclassical world: historic figures and places, institutions, burial customs, food, money, public life, and amusements. A splendid selection of illustrations enhances the portrait.

The intriguing era of late antiquity emerges completely and clearly, viewed in a new light, in a guide that will be relished by scholars and general readers alike.

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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

This is a collection of articles dealing with the period 300 to 750 CE. We've always found the term "Fall of the Roman Empire" a little too tidy, human affairs being what they have been, and are. The ... Read full review

Late antiquity: a guide to the postclassical world

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The editors of this work, all Princeton scholars, have accomplished a worthy goal in broadening our understanding of a significant period of history; through inclusion of the early expansion of Islam ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
Sacred Landscapes Beatrice Caseau
Philosophical Tradition and the Self Henry Chadwick 60
30
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About the author (1999)

G. W. Bowersock is Professor Emeritus of Ancient History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Peter Brown is Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History, Princeton University. Among his publications is The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, 200-1000 A.D.

Oleg Grabar was Professor Emeritus of Islamic Art and Architecture at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.

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