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A Study of the Evidence from Italy, North Africa and Palestine A.D. 285-700
Author: Sadi Maréchal
In this book Sadi Maréchal examines the survival, transformation and eventual decline of Roman public baths and bathing habits in Italy, North Africa and Palestine during Late Antiquity. Through the analysis of archaeological remains, ancient literature, inscriptions and papyri, the continued importance of bathhouses as social hubs within the urban fabric is demonstrated, thus radically altering common misconceptions of their decline through the rise of Christianity and elite seclusion. Persistent ideas about health and hygiene, as well as perpetuating ideas of civic self-esteem, drove people to build, restore and praise these focal points of daily life when other classical buildings were left to crumble.
Form, Technique and Function
This study presents an overview of the wooden furniture that has come to light since the rediscovery of Herculaneum in the 18th century, with an emphasis on the form, function and the techniques employed. The combination of comments in the excavation reports with the information derived from the surviving pieces of furniture and fittings made of other materials as well as indications for the presence of furniture in the architecture and decoration of the houses, offers a representative idea of the role of wooden furniture in the interior arrangements of the houses at Herculaneum.
In (Re)using Ruins, Douglas Underwood presents a new account of the use and reuse of Roman urban public monuments in a crucial period of transition, A.D. 300-600. Commonly seen as a period of uniform decline for public building, especially in the western half of the Mediterranean, (Re)using Ruins shows a vibrant, yet variable, history for these structures.
Douglas Underwood establishes a broad catalogue of archaeological evidence (supplemented with epigraphic and literary testimony) for the construction, maintenance, abandonment and reuses of baths, aqueducts, theatres, amphitheatres and circuses in Italy, southern Gaul, Spain, and North Africa, demonstrating that the driving force behind the changes to public buildings was largely a combined shift in urban ideologies and euergetistic practices in Late Antique cities.
Author: Jo Stoner
In this study, Jo Stoner investigates the role of domestic material culture in Late Antiquity. Using archaeological, visual and textual evidence from across the Roman Empire, the personal meanings of late antique possessions are revealed through reference to theoretical approaches including object biography. Heirlooms, souvenirs, and gift objects are discussed in terms of sentimental value, before the book culminates in a case study reassessing baskets as an artefact type. This volume succeeds in demonstrating personal scales of value for artefacts, moving away from the focus on economic and social status that dominate studies in this field. It thus represents a new interpretation of domestic material culture from Late Antiquity, revealing how objects transformed houses into homes during this period.
Author: Timothy Doran
Sparta’s dominance over other Greek states was greatly hampered and finally ended because of the impossibility of maintaining its power in the face of oliganthropia, an irreversible demographic shortfall of its citizen manpower. In Spartan Oliganthropia, Timothy Doran examines the population decline of the Spartiates in the Classical and Hellenistic eras, a reduction from 8,000 to fewer than 1,000. The causes and consequences of this decline are significant not only for ancient Greek history, but also for population studies of pre-industrial societies and population dynamics more generally. This work offers a fresh survey of representative modern scholarship on this phenomenon as well as its own conclusions, discussing topics such as elite under-reproduction, wealth polarization, the link between female empowerment and low birthrates, and ideological notions of eugenic exclusivity, suggesting avenues for further research.
Author: David Walsh
In The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity David Walsh explores how the cult of Mithras developed across the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. and why by the early 5th century the cult had completely disappeared. Contrary to the traditional narrative that the cult was violently persecuted out of existence by Christians, Walsh demonstrates that the cult’s decline was a far more gradual process that resulted from a variety of factors. He also challenges the popular image of the cult as a monolithic entity, highlighting how by the 4th century Mithras had come to mean different things to different people in different places.
Water played an important part of ancient Roman life, from providing necessary drinking water, supplying bath complexes, to flowing in large-scale public fountains. The Roman culture of water was seen throughout the Roman Empire, although it was certainly not monolithic and it could come in a variety of scales and forms, based on climatic and social conditions of different areas. This discussion seeks to define ‘water culture’ in Roman society by examining literary, epigraphic, and archaeological evidence, while understanding modern trends in scholarship related to the study of Roman water. The culture of water can be demonstrated through expressions of power, aesthetics, and spectacle. Further there was a shared experience of water in the empire that could be expressed through religion, landscape, and water’s role in cultures of consumption and pleasure.
This book examines the dress and personal appearance of members of the middle and lower classes in the eastern Mediterranean region during the 4th to 8th centuries. Written, art historical and archaeological evidence is assessed with a view to understanding the way that cloth and clothing was made, embellished, cared for and recycled during this period.
Beginning with an overview of current research on Roman dress, the book looks in detail at the use of apotropaic and amuletic symbols and devices on clothing before examining sewing and making methods, the textile industry and the second-hand clothing trade. The final chapter includes detailed information on the making and modelling of exact replicas based on extant garments.
This volume, the thirtieth year of published proceedings, contains five papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during academic year 2013-14. The paper topics include: pleasure in the Philebus under the rubric of the fourfold structure of reality; the tension between the good of the city and the good of the citizens in the Republic; the relation of self-knowledge to dialectic in Theaetetus and Alcibiades I; a close examination of the interplay of the characters in the Sophist to counter Plato’s replacement of Socrates by the Eleatic Stranger; and three autobiographical passages in different dialogues to establish philosophical practice as intellectual and emotional together.
Studies in the Archaeology and History of Macedon, 650 BC - 300 AD
In the past 35 years our archaeological and epigraphic evidence for the history and culture of ancient Macedon has been transformed. This book brings together the leading Greek archaeologists and historians of the area in a major collaborative survey of the finds and their interpretation, many of them unpublished outside Greece. The recent, immensely significant excavations of the palace of King Philip II are published here for the first time. Major new chapters on the Macedonians' Greek language, civic life, fourth and third century BC kings and court accompany specialist surveys of the region's art and coinage and the royal palace centres of Pella and Vergina, presented here with much new evidence. This book is the essential companion to Macedon, packed with new information and bibliography which no student of the Greek world can now afford to neglect.