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Lost Knowledge

The Concept of Vanished Technologies and Other Human Histories

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Benjamin B. Olshin

Lost Knowledge: The Concept of Vanished Technologies and Other Human Histories examines the idea of lost knowledge, reaching back to a period between myth and history. It investigates a peculiar idea found in a number of early texts: that there were civilizations with knowledge of sophisticated technologies, and that this knowledge was obscured or destroyed over time along with the civilization that had created it. This book presents critical studies of a series of early Chinese, South Asian, and other texts that look at the idea of specific “lost” technologies, such as mechanical flight and the transmission of images. There is also an examination of why concepts of a vanished “golden age” were prevalent in so many cultures. Offering an engaging and investigative look at the propagation of history and myth in technology and culture, this book is sure to interest historians and readers from many backgrounds.
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Kontinuität und Wandel des Senatorenstandes im Zeitalter der Soldatenkaiser

Prosopographische Untersuchungen zu Zusammensetzung, Funktion und Bedeutung des amplissimus ordo zwischen 235-284 n. Chr.

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Nikolas Hächler

In Kontinuität und Wandel des Senatorenstandes im Zeitalter der Soldatenkaiser untersucht Nikolas Hächler die Zusammensetzung, Funktion und Bedeutung des ordo senatorius zwischen 235-284 n. Chr., als das Imperium Romanum eine Reihe tiefgreifender Veränderungen durchlief.
Grundlage der vorliegenden Studie stellt eine prosopographische Zusammenstellung dar, in welcher Lebensläufe senatorischer Amtsträger ausgehend von aktuell bekannten Quellenzeugnissen rekonstruiert werden. Obschon militärische Spitzenfunktionen im Laufe des 3. Jhs. zusehends von Rittern anstelle von Senatoren ausgeübt wurden und der ordo amplissimus damit an Bedeutung verlor, stellt sich bei näherer Betrachtung tatsächlich heraus, dass ihm für den Erhalt des Römischen Reiches während der so genannten Reichskrise noch immer grundlegend stabilisierende Funktionen zukamen.

In Kontinuität und Wandel des Senatorenstandes im Zeitalter der Soldatenkaiser Nikolas Hächler observes the composition, function and general importance of the ordo senatorius during 235-284 C.E. when the Roman Empire was affected by a series of radical changes. The study is grounded on a prosopographical analysis, in which Hächler presents a reconstruction of senatorial cursus based on the currently known source material. Although the most important functions within the Roman army were gradually filled by members of the ordo equester instead of viri clarissimi and the senatorial order thereby suffered a loss of importance during the 3rd century, it remained of utmost significance for the stability of the Imperium Romanum in times of crisis.
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Douglas R. Underwood

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.
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Edited by Adam Izdebski and Michael Mulryan

Environment and Society in the Long Late Antiquity brings together scientific, archaeological and historical evidence on the interplay of social change and environmental phenomena at the end of Antiquity and the dawn of the Middle Ages, covering the period ca. 300-800 AD. It gives a new impetus to the study of the environmental history of this crucial period of transition between two major epochs in premodern history. The volume contains both systematic overviews of the previous scholarship and available data, as well as a number of interdisciplinary case studies. It covers a wide range of topics, including the histories of landscape, climate, disease and earthquakes, all intertwined with social, cultural, economic and political developments.

Contributors are Daniel Abel-Schaad , Francesca Alba-Sánchez, Flavio Anselmetti, José Antonio López-Sáez, Daniel Ariztegui, Brunhilda Brushulli, Yolanda Carrión Marco, Alexandra Chavarría, Petra Dark, Carmen Fernández Ochoa, Martin Finné, Asuunta Florenzano, Ralph Fyfe,Didier Galop, Benjamin Graham, John Haldon, Kyle Harper, Richard Hodges, Adam Izdebski, Katarina Kouli, Inga Labuhn, Tamara Lewit, Anna Maria Mercuri, Alessia Masi, Lucas McMahon, Lee Mordechai, Mario Morellón, Timothy Newfield, Almudena Orejas Saco del Valle, Leonor Peña-Chocarro, Sebastián Pérez-Díaz, Eleonora Regattieri, Stephen Rippon, Neil Roberts, Laura Sadori, Abigail Sargent, Gaia Sinopoli, Paolo Squatriti, Giovanni Stranieri, Raymond van Dam, Bernd Wagner, Mark Whittow, Penelope Wilson, Jessie Woodbridge.
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Hamish Cameron

In Making Mesopotamia: Geography and Empire in a Romano-Iranian Borderland, Hamish Cameron examines the representation of the Mesopotamian Borderland in the geographical writing of Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Claudius Ptolemy, the anonymous Expositio Totius Mundi, and Ammianus Marcellinus. This inter-imperial borderland between the Roman Empire and the Arsacid and Sasanid Empires provided fertile ground for Roman geographical writers to articulate their ideas about space, boundaries, and imperial power. By examining these geographical descriptions, Hamish Cameron shows how each author constructed an image of Mesopotamia in keeping with the goals and context of their own work, while collectively creating a vision of Mesopotamia as a borderland space of movement, inter-imperial tension, and global engagement.
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Edited by Stéphane Martin

In recent years, storage has come to the fore as a central aspect of ancient economies. However studies have hitherto focused on urban and military storage. Although archaeological excavations of rural granaries are numerous, their evidence has yet to be fully taken into account. Such is the ambition of Rural Granaries in Northern Gaul (Sixth Century BCE – Fourth Century CE). Focusing on northern Gaul, this volume starts by discussing at length the possibility of quantifying storage capacities and, through them, agrarian production. Building on this first part, the second half of the book sketches the evolution of rural storage in Gaul from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity, setting firmly archaeological evidence in the historical context of the Roman Empire.
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Laela Zwollo

In Augustine and Plotinus: the Human Mind as Image of the Divine Laela Zwollo provides an inside view of two of the most influential thinkers of late antiquity: the Christian Augustine and the Neo-Platonist Plotinus. By exploring the finer points and paradoxes of their doctrines of the image of God (the human soul/intellect), the illustrious church father’s complex interaction with his most important non-biblical source comes into focus. In order to fathom Augustine, we should first grasp the beauty in Plotinus’ philosophy and its attractiveness to Christians. This monograph will contribute to a better understanding of the formative years of Christianity as well as later ancient philosophy. It can serve as a handbook for becoming acquainted with the two thinkers, as well as for delving into the profundity of their thought.
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Cassius Dio’s Forgotten History of Early Rome

The Roman History, Books 1–21

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Edited by Christopher Burden-Strevens and Mads Lindholmer

In a radical change of approach, Cassius Dio’s Forgotten History of Early Rome illuminates the least explored and understood part of Cassius Dio’s enormous Roman History: the first two decads, which span over half a millennium of history and constitute a quarter of Dio’s work. Combining literary and historiographical perspectives with source-criticism and textual analysis for the first time in the study of Dio’s early books, this collection of chapters demonstrates the integral place of ‘early Rome’ within the text as a whole and Dio’s distinctive approach to this semi-mythical period. By focussing on these hitherto neglected portions of the text, this volume seeks to further the ongoing reappraisal of one of Rome’s most significant but traditionally under-appreciated historians.
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Edited by Alain Delattre, Marie Legendre and Petra Sijpesteijn

Authority and Control in the Countryside looks at the economic, religious, political and cultural instruments that local and regional powers in the late antique to early medieval Mediterranean and Near East used to manage their rural hinterlands. Measures of direct control – land ownership, judicial systems, garrisons and fortifications, religious and administrative appointments, taxes and regulation – and indirect control – monuments and landmarks, cultural styles and artistic models, intellectual and religious influence, and economic and bureaucratic standard-setting – are examined to reconstruct the various means by which authority was asserted over the countryside. Unified by its thematic and spatial focus, this book offers an array of interdisciplinary approaches, allowing for important comparisons across a wide but connected geographical area in the transition from the Sasanian and Roman to the Islamic period. Contributors: Arezou Azad and Hugh Kennedy, Sobhi Bouderbala, Michele Campopiano, Alain Delattre, Jessica Ehinger, Simon Ford, James Howard-Johnston, Elif Keser-Kayaalp, Marie Legendre, Javier Martínez Jiménez, Harry Munt, Annliese Nef and Vivien Prigent, Marion Rivoal and Marie-Odile Rousset, Gesa Schenke, Petra Sijpesteijn, Peter Verkinderen, Luke Yarbrough, Khaled Younes.
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Barry O’Halloran

Recently there has been a welcome revival of scholarly interest in the economy of classical Greece. In the face of increasingly compelling arguments for the existence of a market economy in classical Athens, the Finleyan orthodoxy is finally relinquishing its long dominion. In this book, Barry O’Halloran seeks to contribute to this renewed debate by re-interrogating the ancient evidence using more recent economic interpretative frameworks. The aim is to re-evaluate accepted orthodoxies and present the economic history of this emblematic city-state in a new light. More specifically, it analyses the economic foundations of Athens through the prism of its navy. Its macroeconomic approach utilises an employment-demand model through which enormous naval defence expenditures created an exceptional period of demand-led economic growth.