The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity
AD 395-700, 2nd Edition
Routledge – 2012 – 320 pages
This thoroughly revised and expanded edition of The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity, now covering the period 395-700 AD, provides both a detailed introduction to late antiquity and a direct challenge to conventional views of the end of the Roman empire. Leading scholar Averil Cameron focuses on the changes and continuities in Mediterranean society as a whole before the Arab conquests. Two new chapters survey the situation in the east after the death of Justinian and cover the Byzantine wars with Persia, religious developments in the eastern Mediterranean during the life of Muhammad, the reign of Heraclius, the Arab conquests and the establishment of the Umayyad caliphate.
Using the latest in-depth archaeological evidence, this all-round historical and thematic study of the west and the eastern empire has become the standard work on the period. The new edition takes account of recent research on topics such as the barbarian ‘invasions’, periodization, and questions of decline or continuity, as well as the current interest in church councils, orthodoxy and heresy and the separation of the miaphysite church in the sixth-century east. It contains a new introductory survey of recent scholarship on the fourth century AD, and has a full bibliography and extensive notes with suggestions for further reading.
The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity 395-700 AD continues to be the benchmark for publications on the history of Late Antiquity and is indispensible to anyone studying the period.
Praise for the first edition (1993):
'There has never been a general, introductory treatment in English, so Cameron has filled a notable gap … In the field of ancient history, period surveys are often much more than compilations of recent work, but offer whole new lines of interpretation. [This volume is] no exception.' – History Today
'Cameron's work is a brilliant survey of a changing society in all its different facets - economic, religious, cultural, etc.' - Sunday Telegraph
'The book should be a major reference tool for all kinds of historians of late antiquity and students of this period who are interested in the social, economic, military, religious, philosophical and artistic developments of late antiquity. The author displays remarkable erudition and expertise in dealing with the full range of scholarship on scholarly debates old and new.' - Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"The great merit of this second edition lies in the juxtaposition of past and recent scholarship. Cameron outlines scholarly controversies and points out research questions and lacunae. Her book is an excellent introductory text for anyone with an interest in the eastern Mediterranean especially…" - Claudia Eicher, The Journal of Medieval Archaeology
Introduction 1. Constantinople and the eastern empire 2. The empire and the barbarians 3. Christianization and its challenges 4. Late Roman society and economy 5. Justinian and reconquest 6. Late antique culture and private life 7. Urban change and the late antique countryside 8. The eastern Mediterranean – a region in ferment 9. A changed world Conclusion
Averil Cameron was until recently Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine History at the University of Oxford and Warden of Keble College Oxford.