A History of the Later Roman Empire, AD 284-641 (Blackwell by Stephen Mitchell

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By Stephen Mitchell

The second one version of A heritage of the Later Roman Empire positive factors wide revisions and updates to the highly-acclaimed, sweeping ancient survey of the Roman Empire from the accession of Diocletian in advert 284 to the demise of Heraclius in 641.
- encompasses a revised narrative of the political historical past that formed the overdue Roman Empire
- contains wide adjustments to the chapters on nearby heritage, specially these on the subject of Asia Minor and Egypt
- bargains a renewed overview of the decline of the empire within the later 6th and 7th centuries
- areas a bigger emphasis at the army deficiencies, cave in of kingdom funds, and function of bubonic plague during the Europe in Rome’s decline
- contains systematic updates to the bibliography

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The overall extent, especially of the written material, is simply too wide to encompass. More importantly, the sources are not an inert mass of potential information, waiting to be quarried, but yield different answers to different questions. The approach to the history of the period not only determines the range of sources that are examined but also the way in which they are interrogated. The following selective survey is inevitably an individual one. The Problem of Christian Sources The written sources in particular are dificult to interpret, not least because the categories and genres to which they belong are substantially different from those for earlier periods of Roman history.

Like his Church History (see pp. 33–4) it incorporated many contemporary documents verbatim, notably several letters from the emperor himself. Critical engagement with the Life is essential to any modern reappraisal of Constantine’s religious views and political achievements. 3 Christian hagiography is arguably the most distinctive literary genre of late antiquity. By deinition hagiographies were written by Christians about Christian heroes, usually martyrs or ascetics. The era of the persecutions from the mid-third to the early fourth century provided writers with vivid subject matter, and the stories of heroic Christian deaths inspired the early church with extraordinary conidence.

16 THE NATURE OF THE EVIDENCE understudied. The overall extent, especially of the written material, is simply too wide to encompass. More importantly, the sources are not an inert mass of potential information, waiting to be quarried, but yield different answers to different questions. The approach to the history of the period not only determines the range of sources that are examined but also the way in which they are interrogated. The following selective survey is inevitably an individual one.

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