The City in Late Antiquity
The Roman Empire in its early centuries was a world of cities, dominated by landowning elites and conforming to a common pattern in their institutions, buildings and culture. What became of the cities after the crisis of the third century, and later when the Empire collapsed under outside pressure? In this volume archaeologists and historians bring together their two disciplines in addressing this complex question. In the introductory chapter the problem is discussed as a whole, while the remaining chapters focus on particular aspects and regions. The classical city has often been portrayed as everywhere in decline by the fourth century. This book shows that this picture is too simple: in some regions, like Africa, the old traditions were still vigorous, while in others, such as Britain, urban life disappeared and the cities survived only as fortresses, if at all. Particular attention is paid to the impact on the cities of the Christianization of the Empire.
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