Pere P. Ripollès
The minting of coins in the Iberian Peninsula spread in from the mid-fifth century
This article discusses the social history of the Jews. It determines the extent Jewish communities possessed an inner-Jewish social structure and looks at the social ties that existed between the local communities. Some notable Jewish historians like Martin Goodman and Ed P. Sanders provide some important insights into the social relations of the Jews. The article also looks at the extent Jews were socially integrated into their different environments. The history and geography of the Jews, along with the different social problems that they faced, are discussed.
Anthropology and the humanities both deal with man, but they deal with utterly different kinds of man. To put them together was a difficult task, therefore: it was not a simple question of reconciling two disciplines, but of reconciling two different types of human being: the Romans and the ‘savages’, ‘classical’ and ‘primitive’ man. The more comparative the anthropology of Rome demonstrates itself to be – proposing a comparison of Roman culture with the culture of others, with non-Romans in the broadest sense of the term – the more it is perceived to be distinct from the rest of Classical Studies. There is so much emic attention in details and their related historical aspects, but so much etic freedom in using concepts linked to the culture of the observer. Clyde Kluckhohn insisted several times in his work on the indissoluble connection between anthropology on the one hand, and an interest in what we could define as ‘oddities’ on the other. This article discusses anthropology and the textuality of Roman culture.
Liv Mariah Yarrow
Under the Antonine emperors, imperial and provincial coinage largely follow the pattern of prior periods, with certain significant developments both in minting practices and iconographic representations. The major changes of Antonine coinage can be contextualized within three interlinking categories: coin production and output, changes in the presentation of the emperor and his family, and Rome's changing relationship with the provinces and the interrelationships between provincial cities. There was a trend of decline in the weight and fineness of the denarius, and a similar decline in the weight of the aureus; at the same time, smaller bronze denominations were minted with less frequency at Rome. Even more provincial mints appeared, and there was significant production of precious metal coinage at regional centers such as Caesarea in Cappadocia.
Christian Julien Robin
This article discusses the strong links between Arabia and Ethiopia in Late Antiquity. These links were primarily commercial and cultural, but sometimes also political. The Ethiopians borrowed their script from the Arabians, and this facilitated by the fact that the two peoples spoke kindred languages, belonging to the same Semitic family. Arabia and Ethiopia also shared the same off-center position in relation to the great poles of civilisation in the Near East, with which however they maintained intense relations that went back at least to the beginning of the first millennium
Marijke Van der Veen
The archaeobotanical evidence for food and farming in Roman Britain reveals continuity in the two principal cereals grown, but a marked increase in the scale of arable production in central-southern and eastern England, though not in the western and northern areas of Britain. Innovation comes in the form of horticulture: the growing of fruits, vegetables, and herbs for market. Exotic foods brought in by the Roman army created diverse consumer groups. Combined, these developments resulted in larger dietary breadth, growing diversity and regionality, increased social inequality in diet and economic opportunity, and new social realities at household and community levels.
The idea of classifying archaeology as a ‘tool’ alongside prosopography, metre, and numismatics, while ‘culture change’, ‘urbanism’, and ‘fall and transitions’ are classified under ‘history’, is provocative to any archaeologist. Romanisation – a topic that has been prominent in the English-speaking literature of the last two decades – seems to involve an implicit rather than an explicit synthesis of archaeology and history. An archaeology of urbanism in the Roman Empire will highlight the hugely varied nature of what we might class as Roman cities and bring us up against problems of functional definition, and it will document the dynamism of life in these places in all its varied forms and illuminate accompanying phenomena in vivid detail. It will also give us images of living and dead city inhabitants and their lifestyles; it will tell us about both poor and rich – in an unstructured way. An archaeology of urbanism will produce a great deal of information that reflects at one remove social structures and social organisation, while yielding little statistical information which can be converted straightforwardly into sociological data.
This article discusses Armenian history in Late Antiquity. It considers the multiple and varied influences upon all aspects of Armenian society and culture, from far-reaching decisions made at the highest level with immediate implications, such as the redrawing of boundaries between the Roman and Persian sectors of Armenia, or redefining what constituted orthodox belief, to the slow development of ideas, traditions, and practices at a regional and a local level.
Duncan B. Campbell
Eugenio La Rocca
In recent years, the question of what constitutes art has often been asked. The question arose quite naturally from the dismissal of the traditional concept of art as imitation of the real – a notion that, though variously inflected, has held sway up until the dawn of the twentieth century. In the ancient world, images were intended as a representation of the real, as ‘mimesis’, and they were perceived accordingly. By now it is common knowledge that the mimetic theory of art does not correspond to the actual practices of artists, even if they earnestly believed they were representing humans and objects as they really were. More than an actual imitation of the real, it was the artists' apprenticeship in the workshop of established sculptors and their acquisition of traditional techniques that determined how ancient artists worked. This article discusses art and representation, art as a means of communication and medium of expression, Roman art in the frame of ‘Lebenswelt’, Roman art and the Greek canon, the symbolic language of Roman art, and Roman art and stylistic dissonance.