HIS 362K • World of Late Antiquity
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
This course will introduce the student to the communities and cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East from approximately 200-800 CE, with particular emphasis on the century from 350-450 CE. Diocletian's accession to Emperor in 284 marked the beginning of the transition of the classical Roman Empire into the complex, diverse Later Roman and Early Christian cultures. We will examine this vibrant period in history, which looks back to classical culture and forward to the Middle Ages, from various points of view: through the reading of such primary sources as St. Augustine's Confessions, Ammianus Marcellinus's history of the Later Roman Empire, Eusebius's Life of Constantine, Jerome's treatise on virginity, the poetry of Macrobius, and letters from a variety of authors; through visual media; and through architecture and monuments. Lectures will touch on such topics as the construction of pagans and barbarians; the problem of orthodoxy; gender and sexuality; the ascetic lifestyle and the "Holy Men" who practiced it; war and violence; and the relationship of Late Antiquity to Classical Antiquity.
Averil Cameron, THE LATER ROMAN EMPIRE: AD 284-430 Augustine, CONFESSIONS Ammianus Marcellinus, THE LATER ROMAN EMPIRE Coursepack