An integrated collection of essays examining the politics, social networks, law, historiography, and literature of the later Roman world. The volume treats three central themes: the first section looks at political and social developments across the period and argues that, in spite of the stress placed upon traditional social structures, many elements of Roman life remained only slightly changed. The second section focuses upon biographical texts and shows how late-antique authors adapted traditional modes of discourse to new conditions. The final section explores the first years of the reign of Theodosius I and shows how he built upon historical foundations while unfurling new methods for utilising, presenting, and commemorating imperial power. These papers analyse specific events and local developments to highlight examples of both change and continuity in the Roman world from 284-450.
Scott McGill is Associate Professor in the Classical Studies Department, Rice University. He is the author of Virgil Recomposed: The Mythological and Secular Centos in Antiquity (2005) and is currently writing Plagiarism in Classical Latin Literature, exploring the concept of plagiarism in Latin antiquity. Cristiana Sogno is Assistant Professor of Classics at Fordham University, New York. Her book, Q. Aurelius Symmachus: a Political Biography (2006) offers a reconstruction of the political career of Symmachus through close analysis of his extensive writings, while also proposing a critical reevaluation of his historical importance. Among her current projects is a study on curiositas in Latin literature. Edward Watts is Associate Professor of History, Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Classics at Indiana University, Bloomington. His book, City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria (2006), won the Outstanding Publication Award from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South in 2007. His current book project, Riot in Alexandria: Tradition and Group Dynamics in Late Antique Pagan and Christian Communities (forthcoming), explores the cultural and religious interactions of late fifth-century Alexandrian pagan intellectuals and Christian ascetics.
Introduction: Part I. Politics, Law, and Society: 1. The unity of the Roman Empire David Potter; 2. Roman patronage Peter Garnsey; 3. Roman matchmaking Cristiana Sogno; 4. Constantine the Lawgiver Jill Harries; 5. Constantine answers the veterans Serena Connolly; Part II. Biography and Panegyrics: 6. Three generations of Christian philosophical biography Edward Watts; 7. The education of Paulinus of Pella: learning in the late Empire Josiah Osgood; 8. Another man's miracles: recasting Aelius Donatus in Phocas' Life of Virgil Scott McGill; 9. Gregory of Nazianzus' 'Life' of Julian revisited (Or. 4 and 5): divine decree and imperial enactment Susanna Elm; Part III. Constantinople in the 380s or Theodosius I and the Year 380/'Faces of Theodosius I'/The 'New Theodosian Age': 10. Liar in winter: Themistius and Theodosius Peter Heather; 11. Moments of truth: Gregory Nazianzen and Theodosius I Neil McLynn; 12. Reinventing Constantinople: Theodosius I's imprint on the Imperial City Brian Croke; 13. Reinventing history: Jerome's chronicle and the writing of the post-Roman West Mark Vessey.