By Christopher Haas
Second basically to Rome within the historical international, Alexandria used to be domestic to lots of past due antiquity's such a lot tremendous writers, philosophers, and theologians -- between them Philo, Origen, Arius, Athanasius, Hypatia, Cyril, and John Philoponus. Now, in Alexandria in past due Antiquity, Christopher Haas bargains the 1st publication to put those figures in the actual and social context of Alexandria's bustling city milieu.
Because of its transparent demarcation of communal limitations, Alexandria offers the trendy historian with a great chance to probe the multicultural make-up of an old city unit. Haas explores the wide avenues and again alleys of Alexandria's neighborhoods, its suburbs and waterfront, and points 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 info the fiercely aggressive nature of Alexandrian social dynamics. not like contemporary scholarship, which cites Alexandria as a version for peaceable coexistence inside of a culturally diversified group, Haas unearths that the various teams' struggles for social dominance and cultural hegemony usually led to violence and bloodshed -- a risky state of affairs usually exacerbated via imperial intervention on one aspect or the other.
Eventually, Haas concludes, Alexandrian society completed a undeniable balance and reintegration -- a method that ended in the transformation of Alexandrian civic id through the the most important centuries among antiquity and the center a while.
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Extra info for Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict
Inscriptions from thetheater supply data concerning the sixth- and seventh-century factions of the hippodrome, atopic of perennial interest to historians of the early Byzantine period. 29 I However, it is exceedinglydifficult to harmonize the topography of the excavated areas with the descriptions foundin ancient writers. 30 Instead, we now know that the excavated h111 was composed of medieval rubbish atop a layer of Muslim graves, which, in turn, covered the late Roman inhabited quarter. Thus far, there has been no Troy found under this Hissarlik.
62 As we haveseen, the economic relationship between Alexandria and its hinterland during late antiquity displayed great variation and could spill over intoareas often regardedas strictly religious or social. The economic importanceof the city was alsopredicated on exchanges of goods and services with the Egyptian countryside which could be either monetary or in kind. The great diversity of these exchanges is not surprising, especially given the volume of wealth flowing like the Nile to the city.
Finally,I address the question of intercommunal competition by examining three critical flashpoints in thelr relations. Another way to view the structure of this presentation is to compare it to a play. I first bring the audience into thetheater (the urban setting) and examine the stage (the economic and social background). Next,I Introduce each of the dramatis personae and explore the natureof their individual characters. Only then do the house llghts dim and theplay begin-the Competition for cultural hegemony.