A Companion to Late Antiquity by Philip Rousseau PDF

By Philip Rousseau

ISBN-10: 1405119802

ISBN-13: 9781405119801

An available and authoritative evaluate taking pictures the energy and variety of scholarship that exists at the transformative period of time referred to as overdue antiquity.

  • Provides a vital review of present scholarship on past due antiquity – from among the accession of Diocletian in advert 284 and the tip of Roman rule within the Mediterranean
  • Comprises 39 essays from many of the world's most appropriate students of the period
  • Presents this once-neglected interval as an age of robust transformation that formed the trendy international
  • Emphasizes the significant significance of faith and its reference to financial, social, and political life

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Even within the Theodosian Code, a legal opinion ascribed to a particular ‘‘author’’ is just as likely to have been drafted by a bureaucrat before being promulgated in the ‘‘author’s’’ name. In the same way, letters that purport to be from a particular person’s hand may in fact have been composed at that person’s direction by a notarius, whose formulaic phrases, rather than the ‘‘author’s,’’ the letter conveys. When we make assumptions about authorship in those instances – that a particular rabbi spoke, that a particular consul or emperor promulgated a law, or that a particular individual wrote a letter – our approach to the texts might already be skewed.

That confidence would be modified during the Romantic period; but Stefan Rebenich (ch. 6) presents us with a vivid description of scholarly enthusiasms, which provided (on the basis, to be fair, of exhaustive learning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) not only an inconceivably richer database than even Gibbon could marshal but also fuel for the emotional and constitutional needs of the nation-state (feelings and institutions that would eventually undermine all taste for empire). Memory, however, is never content with what is recent; and we are not merely creatures of the nineteenth century.

Evident in the Parallela is a fear of words as mere ornamentation, forgery, and simulation; a fear of the surface of discourse and the aesthetics of mere appearance. Late antique texts are paraded one after the other precisely to reinforce that fear. What is interesting here is that the late antique theory of discourse and its fear of discursive form is adopted by those who in Byzantium write the history of Late Antiquity. The late antique past is thus determined by an aesthetics propagated during that past.

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A Companion to Late Antiquity by Philip Rousseau


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