HISTORY AND CULTURE


BONNET, Charles and BELTRAN DE HEREDIA BERCERO, Julia

Bonnet, Ch. and J. Beltran de Heredia Bercero. 2002. The origins and evolution of the episcopal buildings in Barcino: from early Christian times to the Visigothic era. In: J. Beltran de Heredia Bercero (ed) From Barcino to Barcinona (1st to 7th centuries). The archaeological remains of the Plaša del Rei in Barcelona. Barcelona: Imprenta Municipal. 74-93.

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BLOCK, J.H.

Bloch, J.H. 2002. De nieuwe strijd om Troje. Een debat in Duitsland over wetenschap en samenleving. In: Hermeneus 76. 218-230.

Dutch article on the debate in Germany between Manfred Korfmann and Frank Kolb concerning the reconstruction of "homeric" Troy. Very well written paper which places the debate in a wider sociological framework.

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BRADLEY, Keith

Bradley, K. 1994. Slavery and Society in Rome. Cambridge.

This author wrote many books on the position of slaves in antiquity. Especially interesting is the description derived from historical texts of the slaves in the household. His vision fits well with the "invisible persons" in the "houseful" Ellis and Wallace-Hadrill.

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BRANDES, W.

Brandes W. 1999. Byzantine Cities in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries - Different Sources, Different Histories ? In: G.P. Brogiolo and B. Ward-Perkins (ed) The Idea and Ideal of the Town between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Leiden-Boston-Köln. 25-58

Some methodological observations on the relationship between written, numismatic, sillographic and archaeological sources used in research into Byzantine urbanism in the 7th and 8th centuries. Useful for the general historical context and especially for references to the plague of 541/542 AD in the eastern Mediterranean

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BROWN, Peter

Brown P. 2002. Poverty and Leadership in the Later Roman Empire. Hannover.

Three lectures, presented by Peter Brown in Jerusalem in May 2000 in memory of Menahem Stern, which examine public and private perceptions of the poor during the Christian Church's rise to dominance between 300 and 600 AD. At this time the novel concept of `love of the poor' was becoming an expected virtue and both Jews and Christians developed highly organised methods of caring for the poor. Brown traces the origin of this public virtue, making comparisons with the pagan past, and looks at the role of bishops and the interaction of state and citizens in the eastern Roman empire.

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CAMERON, Averil

Cameron, A. 1993. The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity AD 395-600. London and New York.

Good overwiew of the early Byzantine world AD 395-600. Highlighting Constantinople(1), the Roman army and barbarian invasions (2), church and society (3), social structures and economy (4), Justinianus (5), culture and mentality (6), Urban change (7-8). Used sources are literature (1-6) and archaeology (7-8).
The study of towns and country mostly by archaeology (excavations and survey) learns that, although no complete picture of the late antique city can emerge (155), the general picture is one of contraction and shifts in urban topography (158) (mentionned are e.g. subdivision and encroachment 160; bureals in former town centers 161). But the urban change was already taking place before the 6th century and the picture is not uniform. Local factors in many cases played a big role (e.g. Ephesus and Sardis enjoyed prosperity (162) but there is evidence enough to show clearly that by the late 6th century at the latest many, probably most, cities were experiencing fundamental changes. This doesn't mean though that cities were in a simple state of decline(175).
The conclusion is that the Roman empire did not come to an end through revolutionary change. Consideration of the longue durée is more helpfull than the appear to immediate causal factors. The 7th century Arab conquests in Palestine and Syria brought little break in continuity of the underlying social and economic studies. Too much emphasis is placed on the collapse of the Roman empire and the transformation of the classical world, and too litle on the long-term continuities.

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DOWNEY, Glanville

Downey, G. 1959. Libanius oration on Antioch. In: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 103. 652-686.

Translation of Libanius' Oration XI. Especially interesting for a description of Antioch's colonnaded streets providing shelter during bad weather so activity can always continue and for the description of the commercial activity in the city (Lib. Or. XI.251-255; pages 679-680).

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DUNBABIN, Katherine M.D.

Dunbabine, K.M.D. 1993. Wine and water at the Roman convivium. In: JRA. 6. 116-141.

Article concerning the preparation and serving of wine and water at roman diners. Especially interesting for references to authepsae.

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FOSS, Pedar W.

Foss, P.W. 1995. Age, gender, and status divisions at mealtime in the Roman house: A synopsis of the literary evidence. WWW-document, URL: http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/departs/classical/dropbox/hgender.html.

An ovierview of the literary evidence considering age, gender, and status divisions at mealtime in the Roman house. It especially concerns the question: "Who cooks, serves and eats an with whom ?"

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GRIMM, Veronika E.

Grimm, V.E. 1996. From Feasting to Fasting: the Evolution of a Sin. Attitudes to food in Late Antiquity. London and New York: Routledge.

In this highly original study, Veronika Grimm discusses early Christian texts dealing with food, eating and fasting. Modern day eating disorders often equate food with sin and see fasting as an attempt to regain purity, an attitude which can also be observed in early Christian beliefs in the mortification of the flesh. Describing first the historical and social context of Judaism and the Greco-Roman world, the author then proceeds to analyse Christian attitudes towards food. Descriptions of foods found in the Pauline Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, Tertullian or Augustine are compared to contemporary Jewish or Greco-Roman pagan texts. Thus, a particular Christian mode of fasting is elaborated which influences us to the present day: ascetic fasting for the suppression of the sexual urges of the body.
The book adresses the attitude of the early christian writers to food and does not highlight what was eaten those days. It tries to understand the ancient 'mentality'.

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HALDON, John

Haldon, J. 1999. The Idea of the Town in the Byzantine Empire In: G.P. Brogiolo and B. Ward-Perkins (ed) The Idea and Ideal of the Town between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Leiden-Boston-Köln. 1-23.

Paper describing the use of technical terms to describe cities and towns in the late antique and early medieval period. And the relationship between Constantinople and provincial centers. Useful for the general historical context.

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LAURENCE, Ray

Laurence, R. 1998. Territory, ethnonyms and geography. The construction of identity in Roman Italy. In: R. Laurence and J. Berry (ed). Cultural Identity in the Roman Empire. London and New York. 95-110.

First the geography of Italy is seen through the eyes of the ancients (Ptolemaeus - emphasis on map-making; Augustan administrative system of eleven regions - centred upon Rome; Strabo - uses a concept of ethnicity). Their subdivision of space, does not represtent the reality of ethnicity, but it does inform us of a view on the world that relied upon ethnicity to define territorial divisions in space.
Second, a Roman source representing his ethnic group and the relationship between that group and its territory is studied (Veleius Paterculus - citizenship; Roman colonies - festival on the anniversary of the settlement).
Thirth, the augustian regions are based on the state's geography (roadsystem, ...), but this system fixed the populations of regions with an ethnicity that would continue to be associated with induvidual regions. So we see in Italy during the first two centuries AD, a shift from the ethnonym representing a people to the ethnonym representing a territorial division.
Conclusion, what is important in the context of the use of ethnonoyms by geographers, is the division of territory according to ethnonym and the association of a common mythology and history with that ethnonym. This could subsequently be unified under the relative recent concept of tota Italia, which was part of the complex ideology that unified Rome and Italy politically.

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MACMULLEN, Ramsay

MacMullen, R. 2000. Romanization in the Time of Augustus. New Haven.

The subject of this book is the Romanization of the whole empire in the "age of Augustus" (63 BC-14 AD). It is organised geographically with chapters on the East, Africa, Spain and Gaul followed by a final one offering a summary of the argument. Chronological limits exclude chapters on Britain and Germany while he chooses not to tread Italy as well. The geographical framework introduces a series of thematical discussions. From the east is said that there is very little trace of Roman influence, because it was in Romans' own terms civilized. While the west was different. Here political loyalty made the elite to adapt Roman habits, with a tickle-down effect on middle and lower classes who appreciated the supperiority of the imported material and art. Contrary to resistance of Rome's culture "pushing" out from Italy, the provincials tended to "pull" Rome to themselves and embraced the outward trappings of Roman culture. The benefits Rome offered far outweighed the desire to retain complete adhenence to ethnic or cultural separateness.
This article should be put next to Grahame's paper 1998.

Review of Greg Woolf (map 2):
Woolf, G. 2001. MacMullen's Romanization. Rewiew of R. MacMullen. 2000. Romanization in the Time of Augustus. New Haven. In: JRA 14. 575-579.

Woolf gives a short overview of MacMullen's book and stresses that it is a valueable addition to the debate on Romanization. But he also notes the lack of arguments used against former theories about Romanization, who even though they have their own weeknesses deserve better arguments before refutation.

Review of Michael Hoff. 2001. AJA 105. 745.(map 2)

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MILLETT, Martin

Millett, M. 1990. The Romanization of Britain. An essay in Archaeological Interpretation. Cambridge.

Standard work about Roman (Italian) and non-Roman (local) elements in the archaeological remains of the empirial period in Britain. Millett warns for easy duality: for or against the Roman gouvernement. Most probably individuals choose what they liked from the Celtic traditions and from the novelties the Roman soldiers brought with them. For references see also Ellis S.P. 2001.

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NATHAN, Geoffrey Steven

Nathan, G.S. 2000. The Family in Late Antiquity: the Rise of Christianity and the endurance of Tradition. London and New York.

This work concentrates on the two centuries following 350 in the Western Empire. To answer the question "What changes did christianity bring?" Nathan gives a summary of the pagan Roman and early Christian traditions. His final conclusion is that Christian success in alterning behaviour was remarkably limited, mostly because Christianity did not call for a mode of behaviour that was markedly distinct from earlier Roman mores. In fact the Christianity brought more a change of ideology than one of practice in the Late Empire.
Review of R. Saller

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SALLER, Richard

Saller, R. 2001. The family in late antiquity. Review of: G.S. Nathan. The Family in Late Antiquity: the Rise of Christianity and the endurance of Tradition. London and New York. In: JRA 14. 664-666.

Saller agrees at the broadest level with Nathan's conclusion - more a change of ideology than of practice in the Late Empire - but is less convinced about the more specific conclusions. Nathan's arguments appear to have significant inconsistencies and lacks precision. In addition a knowledge of linguistic usage and Roman law is needed for an understanding of family history. Both of which are absent. Nathan does pose some good questions and makes some valid points about the relations of doctrines and ideals to practice, but his work is not truly satisfying.

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SAMSON, Ross

Samson, R. 1999. Slavish nonsense or the talking tool. In: A. Leslie (ed) Theoretical Roman Archaeology and Architecture. The Third Conference Proceedings. Glasgow: Cruithne Press. 121-140.

Article opposing the reluctance of archaeologists to use references to slavery in descriptions of dependend labour in Roman Brittain. Samson argues, though not very convincingly, that there must have been a large working force of slaves on Roman villas. He follows three major lines:
1. Historiography: the reluctance to the notion of a "slave economy" lies in the fact that most Roman archaeologists are borgeois unconsciously loathing Marxist visions on slave labour.
2. Positive evidence: some slave collars and the frequent reference to freedmen (freed slaves) in epigraphy in comparison with references to free tenants.
3. Theory: The presence of workforce quaters (a well built stone agricultural building) close to the villae and inside an enclosure wall (serving as a barrier to keep slaves in).
One can agree with his argument that the usage of words as "farm hands" or "tenants" are not neutral but imply free people working on a rural estate rather than slaves, which might have made up a large part of the workforce. His argument is not archaeologically supported well enough, however, to prove that slaves were the primary work force during the Roman Empire in Britain.

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SCOTT, Eleanor

Scott, E. 1991. Animal and infant burials in Romano-British villas: a revitalisation movement. In: P. Garrod, D. Jennings, R. Skeates and J. Toms (eds) Sacred and Profane. Proceedings of a conference on Archaeology, Ritual and Religion. Oxford. 115-121.

Scott convincingly argued that infant burials under floors and in farmyards of houses are not just evidence of infanticide and subsequent surreptitious burial, but reflect codes of ritual practice operating within particular social and cultural constraints. In her article, Scott relates the phenomenon of infant burial in Late Roman Britain to the revitalization of Celtic rites in a period of economic stress (3rd and 4th c. A.D.).
Especially usefull in relation to the fetus of the lower agora.

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Opgesteld door Toon Putzeys januari 2002
Laatst vernieuwd in maart 2006