For close to four decades now, scholars of the late Roman, early Christian, early medieval, and early Byzantine worlds have gradually formed the diachronic concept of the “Late Antique” period as an extension of classical studies. The chronological boundaries of the field have been put, roughly in the period between 200 and 800. Its genesis has been, in no small measure, due to the long and sustained tradition of in-depth scholarly investigation of Greco-Roman history and culture. One of the primary locomotives of the debate on “Late Antiquity”, furthermore, has been the question of the continuity of the Greco-Roman heritage in the wake of the gradual growth of Christianity in the classical world. (Browne 1971) Beyond these primary concerns, however, other pertinent queries have gradually come to engage the scholars in the field. One of the more pressing of these in recent decades has been whether or not one should or could have a synchronic as well as a spatial view of “Late Antiquity.” Moving beyond the Greco-Roman heritage, the questions asked have become more complex: how far chronologically, and how wide geographically, should scholarship cast the net? Through which prism or prisms, should we study the new
Journal of Persianate Studies – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Jan 1, 2013
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