Shaping Letters, Shaping Communities: Multilingualism and Linguistic Practice in the Late Antique Near East and Egypt


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The volume explores linguistic practices and choices in the late antique Eastern Mediterranean. It investigates how linguistic diversity and change influenced the social dimension of human interaction, affected group dynamics, the expression and negotiation of various communal identities, such as professional groups of mosaic-makers, stonecutters, or their supervisors in North Syria, bilingual monastic communities in Palestine, elusive producers of Coptic ritual texts in Egypt, or Jewish communities in Dura Europos and Palmyra. The key question is: what do we learn about social groups and human individuals by studying their multilingualism and language practices reflected in epigraphic and other written sources?

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Yuliya Minets, Ph.D. (2017) is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Alabama; the author of The Slow Fall of Babel: Languages and Identities in Late Antique Christianity (2022). Her research focuses on languages and identities in Late Antiquity.

Paweł Nowakowski, Ph.D. (2015) is Assistant Professor of Ancient History at the University of Warsaw; the author of Inscribing the Saints in Late Antique Anatolia (2018) and laureate of ERC Starting Grant (2021). He researches late antique epigraphical cultures.
Scholars and students (all levels) of Late Antiquity, ancient language practices, and Near Eastern epigraphy
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