Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict - download pdf or read online

By Christopher Haas

ISBN-10: 080185377X

ISBN-13: 9780801853777

Moment merely to Rome within the historical international, Alexandria was once domestic to a lot of past due antiquity's such a lot impressive writers, philosophers, and theologians -- between them Philo, Origen, Arius, Athanasius, Hypatia, Cyril, and John Philoponus. Now, in Alexandria in past due Antiquity, Christopher Haas deals the 1st booklet to put those figures in the actual and social context of Alexandria's bustling city milieu. due to its transparent demarcation of communal barriers, Alexandria offers the fashionable historian with a great chance to probe the multicultural make-up of an historical city unit. Haas explores the large avenues and again alleys of Alexandria's neighborhoods, its suburbs and waterfront, and elements of fabric tradition that underlay Alexandrian social and highbrow lifestyles. Organizing his dialogue round the city's non secular and ethnic blocs -- Jews, pagans, and Christians -- he information the fiercely aggressive nature of Alexandrian social dynamics. not like fresh scholarship, which cites Alexandria as a version for peaceable coexistence inside of a culturally varied neighborhood, Haas reveals that the various teams' struggles for social dominance and cultural hegemony frequently ended in violence and bloodshed -- a unstable scenario usually exacerbated by way of imperial intervention on one part or the other.Eventually, Haas concludes, Alexandrian society accomplished a undeniable balance and reintegration -- a approach that ended in the transformation of Alexandrian civic identification in the course of the an important centuries among antiquity and the center a while.

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Additional info for Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict (Ancient Society and History)

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25 Urban topography serves as both the ground and the articulation of the lives of city dwellers. The constant experience of particular urban places is bound to effect the ways in which the inhabitants organize thelr social, political, economic, and religious worlds. 26 This is certainly true of late Roman Alexandna, a city that possessed a distmctive configuration marked out by sweeping urban corridors and Imposing monuments. As a result, episodes in the citys history may be illuminated by constantly referring to the question of loca16 Introductwn tion, in the belief that the changing fortunes of individuals and groups were shaped by the topography of Alexander's magnificent city.

During this period of intense intercommunal competition, diverse factors conducive to mob violence came together on the urban stage and were frequently exacerbated by the intervention of imperial power on one side or another. After this conflict was finally resolved, and Alexandrian society achieved a certain reintegration, the Christians emerged as the hegemonic community. Once again, we find the virtual identification of Alexandrian civic consciousness with the ideology of one ethnoreligious community, testifying to the success of this social reintegration.

An examination of both the pagan and Jewish communities in Alexandria provides an important corrective to a Christian-oriented analysis, since the changmg status of these two communal groups within the city helps to delineate the contours of the city's social history. The pagan community began thiS period as the hegemoniC group in Alexandria and gradually was forced into a subservient status by the early part of the fifth century. The Jewish community, on the other hand , always remamed a minority in Alexandrian society, but its socioeconomic position in the city dictated that it be treated as an essential component of the Alexandrian social dynamiC.

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Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict (Ancient Society and History) by Christopher Haas


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