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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

A Social and Cultural History of Late Antiquity
Boin, Douglas

Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2018 pp. xxix + 285. $99.95

Series Information
Wiley Blackwell Social and Cultural Histories of the Ancient World

Description: A Social and Cultural History of Late Antiquity examines the social and cultural landscape of the Late Antique Mediterranean. The text offers a picture of everyday life as it was lived in the spaces around and between two of the most memorable and towering figures of the time—Constantine and Muhammad. The author captures the period using a wide-lens, including Persian material from the mid third century through Umayyad material of the mid eighth century C.E. The book offers a rich picture of Late Antique life that is not just focused on Rome, Constantinople, or Christianity. This important resource uses nuanced terms to talk about complex issues and fills a gap in the literature by surveying major themes such as power, gender, community, cities, politics, law, art and architecture, and literary culture. The book is richly illustrated and filled with maps, lists of rulers and key events. A Social and Cultural History of Late Antiquity is an essential guide that:; Paints a rich picture of daily life in Late Antique that is not simply centered on Rome, Constantinople, or Christianity; Balances a thematic approach with rigorous attention to chronology; Stresses the need for appreciating both sources and methods in the study of Late Antique history; Offers a sophisticated model for investigating daily life and the complexities of individual and group identity in the rapidly changing Mediterranean world; Includes useful maps, city plans, timelines, and suggestions for further reading. A Social and Cultural History of Late Antiquity offers an examination of everyday life in the era when adherents of three of the major religions of today—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—faced each other for the first time in the same environment.

Subjects: Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Greco-Roman Period, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by Edmon L. Gallagher
Published 2/13/2020
Citation: Edmon L. Gallagher, review of Douglas Boin, A Social and Cultural History of Late Antiquity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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