The Roman West, AD 200-500: An Archaeological Study

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 7, 2013 - History - 533 pages
This book describes and analyses the development of the Roman West from Gibraltar to the Rhine, using primarily the extensive body of published archaeological evidence rather than the textual evidence underlying most other studies. It situates this development within a longer-term process of change, proposing the later second century rather than the 'third-century crisis' as the major turning-point, although the latter had longer-term consequences owing to the rise in importance of military identities. Elsewhere, more 'traditional' forms of settlement and display were sustained, to which was added the vocabulary of Christianity. The longer-term rhythms are also central to assessing the evidence for such aspects as rural settlement and patterns of economic interaction. The collapse of Roman imperial authority emphasised trends such as militarisation and regionalisation along with economic and cultural disintegration. Indicators of 'barbarian/Germanic' presence are reassessed within such contexts and the traditional interpretations questioned and alternatives proposed.

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the thirdcentury crisis 18
soldiers and civilians 42
Reshaping the cities 97
Christianity and the traditional religions 150
Emperors and aristocrats in the late Roman West 198
Rural settlement and economy in the late Roman West 264
The economy of the late Roman West 303
Breakdown and barbarians 338
The fifth century and the disintegration of
AD 200500 a coherent period? 455
Bibliography 483
Index 522

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About the author (2013)

Simon Esmonde Cleary is Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Birmingham. His particular area of interest in Roman archaeology has always been the later Roman period and the transition to the Middle Ages, and he has excavated on several sites of this period in Britain and southwest France. He is the author of The Ending of Roman Britain (1989) and, with Ray Laurence and Gareth Sears, The City in the Roman West, c.250 BC-c.AD 250 (2011).

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