By Christopher Haas
Moment basically to Rome within the old international, Alexandria was once 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 deals the 1st publication to put those figures in the actual and social context of Alexandria's bustling city milieu. as a result of its transparent demarcation of communal obstacles, Alexandria offers the fashionable historian with an excellent chance to probe the multicultural make-up of an historic city unit. Haas explores the vast avenues and again alleys of Alexandria's neighborhoods, its suburbs and waterfront, and facets 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. unlike contemporary scholarship, which cites Alexandria as a version for peaceable coexistence inside of a culturally diversified neighborhood, Haas reveals that the varied teams' struggles for social dominance and cultural hegemony frequently ended in violence and bloodshed -- a risky state of affairs usually exacerbated via imperial intervention on one part or the other.Eventually, Haas concludes, Alexandrian society accomplished a definite balance and reintegration -- a procedure that ended in the transformation of Alexandrian civic identification in the course of the the most important centuries among antiquity and the center a long time.
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Extra resources for Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict (Ancient Society and History)
This linkage between AIexandrias topography and its socioeconomic structure was widely recognized by anClent writers. 5 Even at the end of antiquityJohn of Nikiu (writing in the seventh century) ascribes commercial motives to the bUllders of the canals, the Heptastadion, and the Pharos 6 Perhaps the best testimony to the mterrelationship of Alexandnan commerce and topography is the oft-repeated legend of the citys foundation by Alexander the Great in 331 B. C. According to this story, the architects accompanying Alexander ran out of chalk while they were tracing the future course of the cnys walls.
Barley and dates were other staples that the province exported in bulk to Constantinople and to the imperial armies on the frontiers. The collection, transport, and foreign distributlOn of these agricultural products was a business that could generate enormous profits for Alexandnan merchants. One trader in vegetables possessed a fleet of Nile barges and a business worth twenty thousand solidi. An Alexandrian merchant named Apollonius gave up his lucrative business in foodstuffs and became a monk at Nltria in the fifth century.
65 As a center of higher education, the city also attracted large numbers of eager students. The Importance of Alexandria's religious shrines further ensured a steady stream of tourists and pilgrims drawn from many dIfferent relIgious persuasions.
Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict (Ancient Society and History) by Christopher Haas