This book investigates the nature of 'public space' in Mediterranean cities, A.D. 284-650, meaning places where it was impossible to avoid meeting people from all parts of society, whether different religious confessions or social groups. The first volume considers the architectural form and everyday functions of streets, fora / agorai, market buildings, and shops, including a study of processions and everyday street life. The second volume analyses archaeological evidence for the construction, repair, use, and abandonment of these urban spaces, based on standardised principles of phasing and dating. The conclusions provide insights into the urban environment of Constantinople, an assessment of urban institutions and citizenship, and a consideration of the impact of Christianity on civic life at this time.
Toponymy on the Periphery, Julien Charles Cooper conducts a study of the rich geographies preserved in Egyptian texts relating to the desert regions east of Egypt. These regions, filled with mines, quarries, nomadic camps, and harbours are often considered as an unimportant hinterland of the Egyptian state, but this work reveals the wide explorations and awareness Egyptians had of the Red Sea and its adjacent deserts, from the Sinai in the north to Punt in the south. The book attempts to locate many of the placenames present in Egyptian texts and analyse their etymology in light of Egyptian linguistics and the various foreign languages spoken in the adjacent deserts and distant shores of the Red Sea.
‘He is a Glutton and a Drunkard’: Deviant Consumption in the Hebrew Bible Rebekah Welton uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the social and ritual roles of food and alcohol in Late Bronze Age to Persian-period Syro-Palestine (1550 BCE–400 BCE). This contextual backdrop throws into relief episodes of consumption deemed to be excessive or deviant by biblical writers. Welton emphasises the social networks of the household in which food was entangled, arguing that household animals and ritual foodstuffs were social agents, challenging traditional understandings of sacrifice. For the first time, the accusation of being a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Deut 21:18-21) is convincingly re-interpreted in its alimentary and socio-ritual contexts.