CL5320 Cities of God
Making the Late
Square, Royal Holloway Annex: Thursdays 11-1, Spring term
The Late Antique city has been seen as the litmus of civilizational
vitality and continuity in Late Antiquity. The vitality of cities has been seen
as a key marker of civilization. The transition between antiquity and the
medieval period has been caught up in the historiography of cities. This course
follows two themes. One is the transformation of Classical urbanism into its
late antique form, particularly focusing on the Christianisation of cities and
the continuities and developments in economic and social form in the period
from 400-600. We trace both the micro-level relationship between individual and
community and the macro-level of changes in urban form and political structure
associated with Late Antiquity. The city will be examined as a structuring
structure that shapes economic, cultural and social forms in the Late Antique
period across West and East. The second theme is the transformation of society
into the medieval period, looking in particular at the problematic relationship
between state and city and either the continuities in settlements in the transition
to the Islamic periods and the barbarian kingdoms or the discontinuities in
settlements. The course will consider continuities in urban form into Late
Antiquity and transitions into Medieval urbanism, East and West. The course
will consider a range of source material, including hagiography, documentary
material (epigraphy and papyrology), epistolography, historical narratives, and
archaeological material to provide an insight into the varied materials
available for the history of the Late Antique city and the different
methodologies required to consider this material.
Christian City: The Rome of Jerome and Melania
Christian City: The Milan of Ambrose
Christian Man: Augustine and the City of God
the Christian City: Libanius and the Crisis of the Aristocracy
Byzantine City I: Celebrating Aphrodisias
Rome: Cassiodorus and the governance of Italy
An End of
the Ancient City: Bishops, Plague, and War
cities: Cities of Symeon the Fool and John the Almoner
New Cities: Pirenne and the West
New Cities: Islamic Urbanism
By the end
of this course, students should be able to
demonstrate a critical awareness of approaches to studying
the ancient city and ancient urban society in the Late Roman period.
show a systematic understanding of the processes of
cultural change in the Late Antique period, including issues of religious
change and economic and social change.
discuss the relationship between urban form and
societal forms and how these relationships were reshaped in the Late Antique
period with a critical understanding of past research.
understand and evaluate current scholarship concerning the development
of urbanism in different regions and in different periods and the continuities
in urban societies into the post-Roman period.
analyse problems in urban history and in particular the
historiographic issues of urban history in relationship to models of 'decline
and fall' and 'transition' in Late Antiquity
demonstrate individual study skills, such as
researching, presentation and analytical thought.
Essay Draft: Submitted by March 17thh
Essay (3,500-4,000 words): Submitted by May 17th (subject to
comfirmation). One electronic copy and one hard copy. (100%).
R The City in Roman and Byzantine Egypt.
Routledge, London, New York, 2002.
W., & Lavan, L.. Recent research in
late-antique urbanism. Portsmouth, R.I: Journal of Roman Archaeology(2001).
W., & Lavan, L.. Theory and practice
in late antique archaeology. Boston: Brill. (2003)
J. H. W. G.. Decline and fall of the
Roman city. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2001)
R. A. The End of Ancient Christianity.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
C. Framing the early Middle Ages: Europe
and the Mediterranean, 400-800. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006
Wickham, C. The inheritance of Rome: A history of Europe from 400 to 1000.
Penguin: Allen Lane, 2010.