By Christopher Haas
Second in basic terms to Rome within the historical global, Alexandria used to be domestic to lots of overdue antiquity's so much fabulous writers, philosophers, and theologians -- between them Philo, Origen, Arius, Athanasius, Hypatia, Cyril, and John Philoponus. Now, in Alexandria in overdue Antiquity, Christopher Haas bargains the 1st ebook to put those figures in the actual and social context of Alexandria's bustling city milieu.
Because of its transparent demarcation of communal obstacles, Alexandria offers the fashionable historian with an awesome chance to probe the multicultural make-up of an old city unit. Haas explores the huge avenues and again alleys of Alexandria's neighborhoods, its suburbs and waterfront, and facets of fabric tradition that underlay Alexandrian social and highbrow existence. Organizing his dialogue round the city's non secular and ethnic blocs -- Jews, pagans, and Christians -- he information the fiercely aggressive nature of Alexandrian social dynamics. unlike fresh scholarship, which cites Alexandria as a version for peaceable coexistence inside a culturally diversified group, Haas reveals that the varied teams' struggles for social dominance and cultural hegemony frequently ended in violence and bloodshed -- a risky scenario often exacerbated by way of imperial intervention on one aspect or the other.
Eventually, Haas concludes, Alexandrian society accomplished a undeniable balance and reintegration -- a technique that ended in the transformation of Alexandrian civic id in the course of the the most important centuries among antiquity and the center a long time.
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Additional info for Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict
I tried to cast my eyes down every street, but my gaze wasstill unsatisfied, and I could not grasp all the beauty of the spot at once; some parts 1 saw, some I was on the point of seeing, some I earnestly desired to see, someI could not pass by; that which I actually saw kept my gaze fixed, while that which I expected to see would drag I t to the next. ”~3 I Even after allowance is made for hyperbole and rhetorical inventiveness, this account vividly depicts the sense of architectural movement generated by the Via Canopica.
H. W G. Liebeschuetz’s Antioch: Czty and Imperial Administration in the Later Roman Empire (1972). Despite the laudable qualities of these two traditional approaches to urban history, they are unable to capture an essential element in the history of Alexandria: the constant interplay among the built environment, the socioeconomic andpolitical structures of the city, and the ongoing competitionfor cultural hegemony In order to explore this interplay as fully as possible, I first sketch the city’s physical setting and then proceed to a general discussion 14 Introductm of the economic and social structures of Alexandrian life.
27 Relevant texts have also been isolated and reattributed to an Alexandrian provenance. Prominent among these is a fourth-century listing of housing and urban amenities, contained m Syriac a chronicle of the twelfth century28During this past century, building projects throughout the moderncity haveturned up awealth of new inscriptional evidence whichalso sheds light on the ancient metropolis. Undoubtedly the most important new discoveries relating to late antique Alexandria are in the field of archaeology.
Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict by Christopher Haas