428 AD: An Ordinary Year at the End of the Roman Empireby Giusto Traina
Pub. Date: 05/11/2009
Publisher: Princeton University Press
This is a sweeping tour of the Mediterranean world from the Atlantic to Persia during the last half-century of the Roman Empire. By focusing on a single year not overshadowed by an epochal event, 428 AD provides a truly fresh look at a civilization in the midst of enormous changeas Christianity takes hold in rural areas across the empire, as western/i>
This is a sweeping tour of the Mediterranean world from the Atlantic to Persia during the last half-century of the Roman Empire. By focusing on a single year not overshadowed by an epochal event, 428 AD provides a truly fresh look at a civilization in the midst of enormous changeas Christianity takes hold in rural areas across the empire, as western Roman provinces fall away from those in the Byzantine east, and as power shifts from Rome to Constantinople. Taking readers on a journey through the region, Giusto Traina describes the empires' people, places, and events in all their simultaneous richness and variety. The result is an original snapshot of a fraying Roman world on the edge of the medieval era. The result is an original snapshot of a fraying Roman world on the edge of the medieval era.
Readers meet many important figures, including the Roman general Flavius Dionysius as he encounters a delegation from Persia after the Sassanids annex Armenia; the Christian ascetic Simeon Stylites as he stands and preaches atop his column near Antioch; the eastern Roman emperor Theodosius II as he prepares to commission his legal code; and Genseric as he is elected king of the Vandals and begins to turn his people into a formidable power. We are also introduced to Pulcheria, the powerful sister of Theodosius, and Galla Placidia, the queen mother of the western empire, as well as Augustine, Pope Celestine I, and nine-year-old Roman emperor Valentinian III.
Full of telling details, 428 AD illustrates the uneven march of history. As the west unravels, the east remains intact. As Christianity spreads, pagan ideas and schools persist. And, despite the presence of the forces that will eventually tear the classical world apart, Rome remains at the center, exerting a powerful unifying force over disparate peoples stretched across the Mediterranean.
- Princeton University Press
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- Edition description:
- New Edition
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Table of Contents
Chapter I: The Travels of Flavius Dionysius and the Chapter End: of Armenia 1
Chapter II: The World of Nestorius: Bishops, Monks, Chapter and: Saracens 7
Chapter III: On the Pilgrim's Road 17
Chapter IV: The New Rome and Its Prince 27
V Th e Anatomy of an Empire 41
Chapter VI: From Ravenna to Nola: Italy in Transition 51
Chapter VII: Trial Runs for the Middle Ages 63
Chapter VIII: Waiting for the Vandals 81
Chapter IX: Pagans and Christians on the Nile 93
Chapter X: Easter in Jerusalem 105
Chapter XI: The Great King and the Seven Princesses 117
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I was hoping this would be like "The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England". Which I really enjoyed. Instead it just skimmed the surface of history with a walk around the Mediterranean in the year 428. It was not in depth and not particularly interesting. I did not come away with the feeling I had learned much. It was an easy read though and I might recommend it if you can borrow a copy.