A.H.M. Jones and the Later Roman Empire (Brill's Series on by David Gwynn

By David Gwynn

The looks in 1964 of A.H.M. Jones' "The Later Roman Empire 284-602: A Social, financial, and Administrative Survey" remodeled the examine of the overdue vintage global. during this quantity a couple of prime students think again the impression of Jones' nice paintings, the impacts that formed his scholarship, and the legacy he left for later generations. Jones' ancient approach, his basic wisdom of past due Roman political, social, monetary and spiritual constructions, and his well-known review of the Decline and Fall of Rome are re-examined the following within the mild of recent learn. This quantity bargains a beneficial reduction to teachers and scholars alike who search to higher comprehend and make the most the valuable source that's the Later Roman Empire. individuals contain Averil Cameron, Peter Garnsey, David Gwynn, Peter Heather, Caroline Humfress, Luke Lavan, Wolfgang Liebeschuetz, Stefan Rebenich, Alexander Sarantis, Roger Tomlin, Bryan Ward-Perkins, and Michael Whitby.

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By 1963 when he penned his preface to the Later Roman Empire it looks as if he had modified his view, at least on the matter of the secondary literature, and probably also on Rostovtzeff. A graduate student (Richard DuncanJones) in his first supervision with Jones asked him if he should begin his research with a critical reading of Rostovtzeff ’s The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire, evidently expecting the answer yes. 19 However his attitude to Rostovtzeff evolved in the ten years between the obituary and the preface, Jones clearly felt when he wrote the preface that he was arguing from a position of strength.

In general it seems clear that Jones, in avoiding the Stein model, was influenced by Rostovtzeff. 7 Further, Rostovtzeff, for all his immense range, had stopped short of the Late Empire. 8 Jones might equally have been talking here of Rostovtzeff ’s two other massive works, The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire, and The Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World. One may wonder, however, about the strength of his allegiance to the Rostovtzeffian model. Jones betrays considerable unease about this choice, and in the process reveals that he has one foot in the traditionalist camp.

I have read all collections of letters, whether of laymen or churchmen. I have tried to read all contemporary biographies . . I have read the Acts and Canons of church councils. I can claim to have at least looked at every published papyrus of relevant date. 13 Jones goes on to signal a more surprising omission, archaeological evidence. The lacuna is the more surprising in that he placed great weight upon travel and first-hand experience of the Roman provinces (“I have visited 94 of the 119 provinces of the Roman empire”).

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