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Late antiquity is a
periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Institute for the Study of the Ancient Wo ...
used by historians to describe the time of transition from
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ...
to the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
and adjacent areas bordering the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
. The popularization of this periodization in English has generally been credited to historian Peter Brown, after the publication of his seminal work '' The World of Late Antiquity'' (1971). Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
's
Crisis of the Third Century The Crisis of the Third Century, also known as Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis (235–284 AD), was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed. It ended due to the military victories of Aurelian and with the ascension of Dioclet ...
(235–284) to the
early Muslim conquests The early Muslim conquests ( ar, الفتوحات الإسلامية, ''al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya''), also referred to as the Arab conquests and the early Islamic conquests began with the Prophets of Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in the 7 ...
(622–750), or as roughly contemporary with the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...

Sasanian Empire
(224–651). In the West its end was earlier, with the start of the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
typically placed in the 6th century, or earlier on the edges of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
. The Roman Empire underwent considerable social, cultural and organizational changes starting with the reign of
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
, who began the custom of splitting the Empire into
Eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct American airline that operated from 1926 to 1991 *Eastern Air Lin ...

Eastern
and Western portions ruled by multiple emperors simultaneously. The Sasanian Empire supplanted the
Parthian Empire The Parthian Empire (), also known as the Arsacid Empire (), was a major political and cultural power in from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, , who led the tribe in conquering the region of in 's northeast, ...

Parthian Empire
and began a new phase of the Roman–Persian Wars, the Roman–Sasanian Wars. The divisions between the
Greek East and Latin West Greek East and Latin West are terms used to distinguish between the two parts of the Greco-Roman world Roman Theatre of Mérida, Spain. The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth), ...
became more pronounced. The
Diocletianic Persecution#REDIRECT Diocletianic Persecution The Diocletianic or Great Persecution was the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. In 303, the Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and ...
of Christians in the early 4th century was ended by
Galerius Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus (; c. 258 – May 311) was from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by , against the , sacking their capital in 299. He also campaigned across the against the , defeating them in 297 and 300. ...

Galerius
and under
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...

Constantine the Great
,
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
was made legal in the Empire. The 4th century
Christianization of the Roman Empire Religion in ancient Rome includes the ancestral ethnic religion In religious studies, an ethnic religion is a religion or Belief#Religion, belief associated with a particular ethnic group. Ethnic religions are often distinguished from univer ...
was extended by the conversions of Tiridates the Great of
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...
,
Mirian III Mirian III ( ka, მირიან III) was a king of Kingdom of Iberia (antiquity), Iberia or Kartli (Georgia (country), Georgia), contemporaneous to the Roman emperor Constantine the Great (reign, r. 306–337). He was the founder of the royal C ...

Mirian III
of
Iberia The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a penin ...
and
Ezana of Axum Ezana ( gez, ዒዛና ''‘Ezana'', unvocalized ዐዘነ ''‘zn''; also spelled Aezana or Aizan) was ruler of the Kingdom of Axum an ancient kingdom located in what is now Eritrea and the Tigray Region of northern Ethiopia. (320s – c. 360 ...
, who later invaded and ended the
Kingdom of Kush The Kingdom of Kush (; : 𓎡𓄿𓈙 ''kꜣš'', : ''Ku-u-si'', in grc, Κυς and Κυσι; cop, ; he, כּוּשׁ) was an ancient kingdom in , centered along the in what is now northern and southern . The region of Nubia was an ea ...
. During the late 4th century reign of
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
,
Nicene Christianity The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Car ...
was proclaimed the
state church of the Roman Empire The state church of the Roman Empire refers to the church approved by the Roman emperors after Theodosius I issued the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which recognized the catholic orthodoxy of Nicene Christians in the Great Church as the Roman Empi ...
.
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
became the permanent imperial residence in the East by the 5th century and superseded Rome as the largest city in the
Late Roman Empire The Later Roman Empire spans the period from 284 AD to 641 in the history of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- period ...
and the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
. The longest
Roman aqueduct The Ancient Rome, Romans constructed Aqueduct (bridge), aqueducts throughout their Roman Republic, Republic and later Roman Empire, Empire, to bring water from outside sources into cities and towns. Aqueduct water supplied Thermae, public baths, ...

Roman aqueduct
system, the -long
Aqueduct of Valens The Aqueduct of Valens ( tr, Valens Su Kemeri, grc, Ἀγωγὸς τοῦ ὕδατος, translit=Agōgós tou hýdatos, lit=aqueduct) was a Roman aqueduct Aerial footage of a Roman provincial aqueduct at Mória ( Lesbos) The Romans constructe ...

Aqueduct of Valens
was constructed to supply it with water, and the tallest Roman triumphal columns were erected there. Migrations of
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
,
HunnicHunnic, in the English language, most often refers to: * relating to or of the Huns, a former nomadic tribe of the Eurasian steppe * the Hunnic language spoken by the Huns, or, * Hunnic grapes, a class of grapes grown in German-speaking countries, d ...

Hunnic
, and
Slavic
Slavic
tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating first in the Sack of Rome by the
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe a ...
in 410 and subsequent Sack of Rome by the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic peoples, Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland. They established Vandal Kingdom, Vandal kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean islands, and North Africa in the fifth century. The ...
in 455, part of the eventual collapse of the Empire in the West itself by 476. The Western Empire was replaced by the so-called
barbarian kingdoms A barbarian is a human who is perceived to be either Civilization, uncivilized or primitive. The designation is usually applied as a generalization based on a popular stereotype; barbarians can be members of any nation judged by some to be less ...
, with the
Arian Christian Arianism is a Christology, Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. Arian theology holds that the Son of God is not co-eternal with God the Father and is distinct from the ...
Ostrogothic Kingdom The Ostrogothic Kingdom, officially the Kingdom of Italy (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communi ...

Ostrogothic Kingdom
ruling Rome from
Ravenna Ravenna ( , , also ; rgn, Ravèna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna The province of Ravenna ( it, provincia di Ravenna; ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, admin ...

Ravenna
. The resultant cultural fusion of
Greco-Roman The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the ), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that culturally—and so historically—were directly and ...
, Germanic, and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent
culture of Europe The culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of th ...
. In the 6th century, Roman imperial rule continued in the East, and the Byzantine-Sasanian wars continued. The campaigns of
Justinian the Great Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός, Ioustinianós; 11 May 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by the ...
led to the fall of the Ostrogothic and Vandal Kingdoms, and their reincorporation into the Empire, when the city of Rome and much of Italy and
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
returned to imperial control. Though most of Italy was soon part of the
Kingdom of the Lombards The Kingdom of the Lombards ( la, Regnum Langobardorum; it, Regno dei Longobardi; lmo, Regn dei Lombards) also known as the Lombard Kingdom; later the Kingdom of (all) Italy ( la, Regnum totius Italiae), was an early medieval state established ...
, the Roman
Exarchate of Ravenna The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy ( la, Exarchatus Ravennatis) was a lordship of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Rom ...
endured, ensuring the so called
Byzantine Papacy The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, wh ...
. Justinian constructed the
Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia (; ; la, Sancta Sophia, lit=), officially known as the Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque ( tr, Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi, آياصوفيا  كبير جامع  شريف), and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia (; ; ) and for ...

Hagia Sophia
, a great example of
Byzantine architecture Byzantine architecture is the of the , or Eastern Roman Empire. The Byzantine era is usually dated from 330 AD, when moved the Roman capital to , which became , until the in 1453. However, there was initially no hard line between the Byzanti ...
, and the first outbreak of the centuries-long
first plague pandemic The First Plague Pandemic was the first Old World The "Old World" is a retronym A retronym is a newer name for an existing thing that differentiates the original form/version from a more recent one. It is thus a word or phrase created to a ...
took place. At
Ctesiphon Ctesiphon ( ; Middle Persian: 𐭲𐭩𐭮𐭯𐭥𐭭 ''tyspwn'' or ''tysfwn''; fa, تیسفون; grc-gre, Κτησιφῶν, ; syr, ܩܛܝܣܦܘܢThomas A. Carlson et al., “Ctesiphon — ܩܛܝܣܦܘܢ ” in The Syriac Gazetteer last modi ...

Ctesiphon
, the Sasanians completed the
Taq Kasra Tāq Kasrā ( ar, طاق كسرى, translit=ṭāq kisrā), also transcribed as ''Taq-i Kisra'' or ''Taq-e Kesra'' ( fa, طاق کسری) or Ayvān-e Kesrā ( fa, ایوان خسرو, translit=ʼiwan-i-husraw, links=, meaning Iwan of Khosrow I, C ...

Taq Kasra
, the colossal ''
iwan An iwan ( fa, ایوان ''eyvān'', ar, إيوان ''Iwan'', also spelled ivan) is a rectangular hall or space, usually vaulted, walled on three sides, with one end entirely open. The formal gateway to the iwan is called ''pishtaq'', a Per ...

iwan
'' of which is the largest single-span
vault Vault may refer to: * Jumping, the act of propelling oneself upwards Architecture * Vault (architecture), an arched form above an enclosed space * Bank vault, a reinforced room or compartment where valuables are stored * Burial vault (enclosure) ...
of unreinforced
brickwork Brickwork is masonry produced by a bricklayer, using bricks and Mortar (masonry), mortar. Typically, rows of bricks called ''Course (architecture), courses'' are laid on top of one another to build up a structure such as a brick wall. Bricks m ...
in the world and the triumph of
Sasanian architecture Sasanian architecture refers to the Persian architectural style that reached a peak in its development during the Sasanian The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭 ...
. The middle of the 6th century was characterized by extreme climate events ( the volcanic winter of 535-536 and the
Late Antique Little Ice AgeThe Late Antique Little Ice Age was a long-lasting Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's ...
) and a disastrous pandemic (
Plague of Justinian The plague of Justinian or Justinianic plague (541–549 AD) was the first major outbreak In epidemiology, an outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or ...
in 541). The effects of these events in the social and political life are still under discussion. In the 7th century the disastrous
Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 The Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 was the final and most devastating of the Byzantine–Sasanian wars, series of wars fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Sasanian Empire of Iran. The Byzantine–Sasanian War of 572–591, previo ...
and the campaigns of
Khosrow II Khosrow II (aka. Chosroes II in classical sources; pal, 𐭧𐭥𐭮𐭫𐭥𐭣𐭩; Modern Persian: ''Khosrow (word), Husrō''), also known as Khosrow Parviz (Persian language, New Persian: , "Khosrow the Victorious"), is considered to be the ...
and
Heraclius Heraclius ( el, Ἡράκλειος, ''Hērakleios''; c. 575 – 11 February 641), sometimes called Heraclius I, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinop ...
facilitated the emergence of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
in the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
during the lifetime of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
. Subsequent
Muslim conquest of the Levant The Muslim conquest of the Levant ( ar, اَلْـفَـتْـحُ الْإٍسْـلَامِيُّ لِـلـشَّـامِ, ''Al-Fatḥ ul-Islāmiyyu lish-Shām''), also known as the Arab conquest of the Levant ( ar, اَلْـفَـتْـحُ ...
and
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...
overthrew the Sasanian Empire and permanently wrested two thirds of the Eastern Roman Empire's territory from Roman control, forming the
Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, al-Khilāfah ar-Rāšidah) was the first of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an ...
. The
Byzantine Empire under the Heraclian dynasty The Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Co ...
began the middle Byzantine period, and together with the establishment of the later 7th century
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
, generally marks the end of late antiquity.


Terminology

The term ''Spätantike'', literally "late antiquity", has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by
Alois Riegl Alois Riegl, ca. 1890 Alois Riegl (14 January 1858, Linz Linz (; ; cs, Linec) is the capital of Upper Austria and List of cities and towns in Austria, third-largest city in Austria. In the north of the country, it is on the Danube south of the ...

Alois Riegl
in the early 20th century. It was given currency in English partly by the writings of Peter Brown, whose survey ''The World of Late Antiquity'' (1971) revised the
Gibbon Gibbons () are ape Apes (Hominoidea ) are a branch of Old World tailless simians native to Africa and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern sub ...

Gibbon
view of a stale and ossified Classical culture, in favour of a vibrant time of renewals and beginnings, and whose ''The Making of Late Antiquity'' offered a new paradigm of understanding the changes in Western culture of the time in order to confront Sir Richard Southern's ''The Making of the Middle Ages''. The continuities between the later Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
(r. 284–305), and the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were already developing in the
Christianized Christianization ( or Christianisation) is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire groups at once. Various strategies and techniques were employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity and througho ...
empire, and that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
at least until the coming of Islam. Concurrently, some migrating
Germanic tribes This list of ancient Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Socie ...

Germanic tribes
such as the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mention ...
and
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe a ...
saw themselves as perpetuating the "Roman" tradition. While the usage "Late Antiquity" suggests that the social and cultural priorities of
Classical Antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
endured throughout
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
into the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
, the usage of "Early Middle Ages" or "Early Byzantine" emphasizes a break with the classical past, and the term "
Migration Period The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
" tends to de-emphasize the disruptions in the former Western Roman Empire caused by the creation of Germanic kingdoms within her borders beginning with the ''
foedus ''Foederati'' (, singular: ''foederatus'' ) were peoples and cities bound by a treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law ...
'' with the
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between West ...
in Aquitania in 418. The general decline of population, technological knowledge and standards of living in Europe during this period became the archetypal example of
societal collapse A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship between two or more individuals. Social relations derived from individual agenc ...
for writers from the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
. As a result of this decline, and the relative scarcity of historical records from Europe in particular, the period from roughly the early fifth century until the
Carolingian Renaissance The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Franks, Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe dur ...
(or later still) was referred to as the "
Dark Ages Dark Ages or Dark Age may refer to: History and sociology *Dark Ages (historiography), the use of the term ''Dark Ages'' by historians and lay people **Byzantine Dark Ages (7th–8th centuries), period of large-scale transformation but obscure du ...
". This term has mostly been abandoned as a name for a historiographical epoch, being replaced by "Late Antiquity" in the periodization of the late West Roman Empire, the early Byzantine empire and the Early Middle Ages.Gilian Clark, ''Late Antiquity: A Very Short Introduction'' (Oxford 2011), pp. 1–2.


Religion

One of the most important transformations in Late Antiquity was the formation and evolution of the
Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family ...

Abrahamic religions
:
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
,
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, CE, after the codification of ...
and, eventually,
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
. A milestone in the rise of Christianity was the conversion of Emperor
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...
(r. 306–337) in 312, as claimed by his Christian panegyrist
Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, ''Eusébios tés Kaisareías''; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου), ...

Eusebius of Caesarea
, although the sincerity of his conversion is debated. Constantine confirmed the legalization of the religion through the so-called
Edict of Milan The Edict of Milan ( la, Edictum Mediolanense, el, Διάταγμα τῶν Μεδιολάνων, ''Diatagma tōn Mediolanōn'') was the February 313 CE agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire.Frend, W. H. C. ''Th ...
in 313, jointly issued with his rival in the East,
Licinius Licinius (; la, Valerius Licinianus Licinius ; (Ancient Greek Λίκινιος) (c. 265 – 325) was Roman emperor from 308 to 324. For most of his reign he was the colleague and rival of Constantine I, with whom he co-authored the Edict of Mi ...
(r. 308–324). By the late 4th century, Emperor
Theodosius the Great Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial ...
had made Christianity the State religion, thereby transforming the Classical Roman world, which Peter Brown characterized as "rustling with the presence of many
divine spirits
divine spirits
." Constantine I was a key figure in many important events in Christian history, as he convened and attended the first ecumenical council of bishops at
Nicaea Nicaea or Nicea (; el, wikt:Νίκαια, Νίκαια, ''Níkaia'') was an ancient Greek city in northwestern Anatolia and is primarily known as the site of the First Council of Nicaea, First and Second Council of Nicaea, Second Councils of Nic ...
in 325, subsidized the building of churches and sanctuaries such as the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, hy, Սուրբ Հարության տաճար, la, Ecclesia Sancti Sepulchri, am, የቅዱስ መቃብር ቤተክርስቲያን, he, כנסיית הקבר, ar, كنيسة القيامة is a church in ...

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...
, and involved himself in questions such as the timing of Christ's resurrection and its relation to the
Passover Passover, also called Pesach (; he, פֶּסַח '), is a major Jewish holiday Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or ''Yamim Tovim'' ( he, ימים טובים, , Good Days, or singular , in transliterated Translitera ...
. The birth of
Christian monasticism Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of Christians who live Asceticism#Christianity, ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, m ...
in the deserts of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...
in the 3rd century, which initially operated outside the episcopal authority of the Church, would become so successful that by the 8th century it penetrated the Church and became the primary Christian practice.
Monasticism Monasticism (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). An ...
was not the only new Christian movement to appear in late antiquity, although it had perhaps the greatest influence. Other movements notable for their unconventional practices include the Grazers, holy men who ate only grass and chained themselves up; the Holy Fool movement, in which acting like a fool was considered more divine than folly; and the Stylites movement, where one practitioner lived atop a 50-foot pole for 40 years. Late Antiquity marks the decline of Religion in ancient Rome, Roman state religion, circumscribed in degrees by edicts likely inspired by Christian advisors such as Eusebius to 4th-century emperors, and a period of dynamic religious experimentation and spirituality with many syncretism, syncretic sects, some formed centuries earlier, such as Gnosticism or Neoplatonism and the Chaldaean oracles, some novel, such as Hermetica, hermeticism. Culminating in the reforms advocated by Apollonius of Tyana being adopted by Aurelian and formulated by Flavius Claudius Julianus to create an organized but short-lived pagan state religion that ensured its underground survival into the Byzantine age and beyond. Many of the new religions relied on the emergence of the parchment ''codex'' (bound book) over the papyrus ''volumen'' (scroll), the former allowing for quicker access to key materials and easier portability than the fragile scroll, thus fueling the rise of synoptic exegesis, papyrology. Notable in this regard is the topic of the Fifty Bibles of Constantine.


Laity vs clergy

Within the recently legitimized Christian community of the 4th century, a division could be more distinctly seen between the laity and an increasingly celibacy, celibate male leadership. These men presented themselves as removed from the traditional Roman motivations of public sphere, public and Private sphere, private life marked by pride, ambition and kinship solidarity, and differing from the married pagan leadership. Unlike later strictures on priestly celibacy, celibacy in Late Antique Christianity sometimes took the form of abstinence from sexual relations after marriage, and it came to be the expected norm for urban clergy. Celibate and detached, the upper clergy became an elite equal in prestige to urban notables, the ''potentes'' or ''dynatoi'' (Brown (1987) p. 270).


The rise of Islam

Islam appeared in the 7th century, spurring Arab armies to invade the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanian Empire of Persia, destroying the latter. After conquering all of North Africa and Visigothic Spain, the Islamic invasion was halted by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in modern France. On the rise of Islam, two main theses prevail. On the one hand, there is the traditional view, as espoused by most historians prior to the second half of the twentieth century and by Muslim scholars. This view, the so-called "out of Arabia"-thesis, holds that Islam as a phenomenon was a new, alien element in the late antique world. Related to this is the Pirenne Thesis, according to which the Arab invasions marked—through conquest and the disruption of Mediterranean trade routes—the cataclysmic end of Late Antiquity and the beginning of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
. On the other hand, there is the modern view, associated with scholars in the tradition of Peter Brown, in which Islam is seen to be a product of the Late Antique world, not foreign to it. This school suggests that its origin within the shared cultural horizon of the late antique world explains the character of Islam and its development. Such historians point to similarities with other late antique religions and philosophies—especially Christianity—in the prominent role and manifestations of piety in Islam, in Islamic asceticism and the role of "holy persons", in the pattern of universalist, homogeneous monotheism tied to worldly and military power, in early Islamic engagement with Greek schools of thought, in the apocalypticism of Islamic theology and in the way the Quran seems to react to contemporary religious and cultural issues shared by the late antique world at large. Further indication that Arabia (and thus the environment in which Islam first developed) was a part of the late antique world is found in the close economic and military relations between Arabia, the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
and the Sassanian Empire.Robert Hoyland, 'Early Islam as a Late Antique Religion', in: Scott F. Johnson ed., ''The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity'' (Oxford 2012) pp. 1053–1077.


Political transformations

The Late Antique period also saw a wholesale transformation of the political and society, social basis of life in and around the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. The Roman citizen elite in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, under the pressure of taxation and the ruinous cost of presenting spectacular public entertainments in the traditional ''cursus honorum'', had found under the Antonines that security could only be obtained by combining their established roles in the local town with new ones as servants and representatives of a distant Emperor and his traveling court. After Constantine centralized the government in his new capital of
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
(dedicated in 330), the Late Antique upper classes were divided among those who had access to the far-away centralized administration (in concert with the latifundia, great landowners), and those who did not—though they were well-born and thoroughly educated, a classical education and the election by the Senate to magistracies was no longer the path to success. Room at the top of Late Antique society was more bureaucratic and involved increasingly intricate channels of access to the emperor: the plain toga that had identified all members of the Nobiles, Republican senatorial class was replaced with the silk court vestments and jewelry associated with Byzantine imperial iconography. Also indicative of the times is the fact that the imperial cabinet of advisors came to be known as the ''consistorium'', or those who would stand in courtly attendance upon their seated emperor, as distinct from the informal set of friends and advisors surrounding the ''Augustus (honorific), Augustus''.


Cities

The later Roman Empire was in a sense a network of cities. Archaeology now supplements literary sources to document the transformation followed by collapse of cities in the Mediterranean basin. Two diagnostic symptoms of decline—or as many historians prefer, 'transformation'—are subdivision, particularly of expansive formal spaces in both the ''domus'' and the public basilica, and encroachment, in which artisans' shops invade the public thoroughfare, a transformation that was to result in the ''souk'' (marketplace). Burials within the urban precincts mark another stage in dissolution of traditional urbanistic discipline, overpowered by the attraction of saintly shrines and relics. In Roman Britain, the typical 4th- and 5th-century layer of dark earth within cities seems to be a result of increased gardening in formerly urban spaces. The city of Rome went from a population of 800,000 in the beginning of the period to a population of 30,000 by the end of the period, the most precipitous drop coming with the breaking of the Roman aqueducts, aqueducts during the Gothic War (535–554), Gothic War. A similar though less marked decline in urban population occurred later in Constantinople, which was gaining population until the outbreak of plague in 541. In Europe there was also a general decline in urban populations. As a whole, the period of late antiquity was accompanied by an overall population decline in almost all Europe, and a reversion to more of a subsistence economy. Long-distance markets disappeared, and there was a reversion to a greater degree of local production and consumption, rather than webs of commerce and specialized production. Concurrently, the continuity of the Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople meant that the turning-point for the Greek East came later, in the 7th century, as the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire centered around the Balkans, North Africa (Egypt (Roman province), Egypt and Praetorian prefecture of Africa, Carthage), and Asia Minor. The degree and extent of discontinuity in the smaller cities of the Greek East is a moot subject among historians. The urban continuity of Constantinople is the outstanding example of the Mediterranean world; of the two great cities of lesser rank, Antioch was devastated by the Persian sack of 540, followed by the plague of Justinian (542 onwards) and completed by earthquake, while Alexandria survived its Islamic transformation, to suffer incremental decline in favour of Cairo in the medieval period. Justinian rebuilt his birthplace in Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum, Illyricum, as ''Justiniana Prima'', more in a gesture of ''imperium'' than out of an urbanistic necessity; another "city", was reputed to have been founded, according to Procopius' panegyric on Justinian's buildings, precisely at the spot where the general Belisarius touched shore in North Africa: the miraculous spring that gushed forth to give them water and the rural population that straightway abandoned their ploughshares for civilised life within the new walls, lend a certain taste of unreality to the project. In mainland Greece, the inhabitants of History of Sparta, Sparta, Ancient Argos, Argos and Ancient Corinth, Corinth abandoned their cities for fortified sites in nearby high places; the fortified heights of Acrocorinth are typical of Byzantine urban sites in Greece. In Italy, populations that had clustered within reach of Roman roads began to withdraw from them, as potential avenues of intrusion, and to rebuild in typically constricted fashion round an isolated fortified promontory, or ''Rocca (architecture), rocca''; Cameron notes similar movement of populations in the Balkans, 'where inhabited centres contracted and regrouped around a defensible acropolis, or were abandoned in favour of such positions elsewhere." In the western Mediterranean, the only new cities known to be founded in Europe between the 5th and 8th centuries were the four or five Visigothic "victory cities". Reccopolis in the Guadalajara (province), province of Guadalajara is one: the others were ''Victoriacum'', founded by Leovigild, which may survive as the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Vitoria, though a 12th-century (re)foundation for this city is given in contemporary sources; ''Lugo id est Luceo'' in the Asturias, referred to by Isidore of Seville, and ''Ologicus'' (perhaps ''Ologitis''), founded using Basques, Basque labour in 621 by Suinthila as a fortification against the Basques, modern Olite. All of these cities were founded for military purposes and at least Reccopolis, Victoriacum, and Ologicus in celebration of victory. A possible fifth Visigothic foundation is ''Baiyara'' (perhaps modern Montoro), mentioned as founded by Reccared in the 15th-century geographical account, ''Kitab al-Rawd al-Mitar''. The arrival of a highly urbanized Islamic culture in the decade following 711 ensured the survival of cities in the ''Hispaniae'' into the Middle Ages. Beyond the Mediterranean world, the cities of Gaul withdrew within a constricted line of defense around a citadel. Former imperial capitals such as Cologne and Trier lived on in diminished form as administrative centres of the Franks. In Roman Britain, Britain, where the break with Late Antiquity comes earliest in the 5th and the 6th century, most towns and cities had been in rapid decline during the 4th century during a time of prosperity until the last decades of the century, well before the withdrawal of Roman governors and garrisons; historians emphasizing urban continuities with the Anglo-Saxon period depend largely on the post-Roman survival of Roman toponymy. Aside from a mere handful of its continuously inhabited sites, like York and London and possibly Canterbury, however, the rapidity and thoroughness with which its urban life collapsed with the dissolution of centralized bureaucracy calls into question the extent to which Roman Britain had ever become authentically urbanized: "in Roman Britain towns appeared a shade exotic," observes H. R. Loyn, "owing their reason for being more to the military and administrative needs of Rome than to any economic virtue". The other institutional power centre, the Roman villa, did not survive in Britain either.Loyn 1991:16. Gildas lamented the destruction of the twenty-eight cities of Britain; though not all in his list can be identified with known Roman sites, Loyn finds no reason to doubt the essential truth of his statement.
Classical Antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
can generally be defined as an age of cities; the Greek polis and Roman municipium were locally organised, self-governing bodies of citizens governed by written constitutions. When Rome came to dominate the known world, local initiative and control were gradually subsumed by the ever-growing Imperial bureaucracy; by the
Crisis of the Third Century The Crisis of the Third Century, also known as Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis (235–284 AD), was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed. It ended due to the military victories of Aurelian and with the ascension of Dioclet ...
the military, political and economic demands made by the Empire had crushed the civic spirit, and service in local government came to be an onerous duty, often imposed as punishment. Harassed urban dwellers fled to the walled estates of the wealthy to avoid taxes, military service, famine and disease. In the Western Roman Empire especially, many cities destroyed by invasion or civil war in the 3rd century could not be rebuilt. Plague and famine hit the urban class in greater proportion, and thus the people who knew how to keep civic services running. Perhaps the greatest blow came in the wake of the extreme weather events of 535–536 and subsequent
Plague of Justinian The plague of Justinian or Justinianic plague (541–549 AD) was the first major outbreak In epidemiology, an outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or ...
, when the remaining trade networks ensured the Plague spread to the remaining commercial cities. The impact of this outbreak of plague has recently been disputed. The end of
Classical Antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
is the end of the Polis model, and the general decline of cities is a defining feature of Late Antiquity.


Public building

In the cities the strained economies of Roman over-expansion arrested growth. Almost all new public building in Late Antiquity came directly or indirectly from the emperors or imperial officials. Attempts were made to maintain what was already there. The supply of free grain and oil to 20% of the population of Rome remained intact the last decades of the 5th century. It was once thought that the elite and rich had withdrawn to the private luxuries of their numerous villas and town houses. Scholarly opinion has revised this. They monopolized the higher offices in the imperial administration, but they were removed from military command by the late 3rd century. Their focus turned to preserving their vast wealth rather than fighting for it. The basilica, which had functioned as a law court or for imperial reception of foreign dignitaries, became the primary public building in the 4th century. Due to the stress on civic finances, cities spent money on walls, maintaining baths and markets at the expense of amphitheaters, temples, libraries, porticoes, gymnasia, concert and lecture halls, theaters and other amenities of public life. In any case as Christianity took over many of these building which were associated with pagan cults were neglected in favor of building churches and donating to the poor. The Christian basilica was copied from the civic structure with variations. The bishop took the chair in the apse reserved in secular structures for the magistrate—or the Emperor himself—as the representative here and now of Christ Pantocrator, the Ruler of All, his characteristic Late Antique icon. These ecclesiastical basilicas (e.g., St. John Lateran, St. John Lateran and St. Peter's Basilica, St. Peter's in Rome) were themselves outdone by Justinian's
Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia (; ; la, Sancta Sophia, lit=), officially known as the Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque ( tr, Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi, آياصوفيا  كبير جامع  شريف), and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia (; ; ) and for ...

Hagia Sophia
, a staggering display of later Roman/Byzantine power and architectural taste, though the building is not architecturally a basilica. In the former Western Roman Empire almost no great buildings were constructed from the 5th century. A most outstanding example is the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna constructed circa 530 at a cost of 26,000 gold solidus (coin), solidi or 360 Roman pounds of gold. City life in the East, though negatively affected by the plague in the 6th–7th centuries, finally collapsed due to Slavic invasions in the Balkans and Persian destructions in Anatolia in the 620s. City life continued in Syria, Jordan and Palestine into the 8th. In the later 6th century street construction was still undertaken in Caesarea Maritima in Palestine, and Edessa, Mesopotamia, Edessa was able to deflect Chosroes I with massive payments in gold in 540 and 544, before it was overrun in 609.M. Whittow, "Ruling the late Roman and early Byzantine city: a continuous history", ''Past and Present'' 129 (1990:3–29).


Sculpture and art

As a complicated period bridging between Roman art and medieval art and Byzantine art, the Late Antique period saw a transition from the classical idealized Realism (visual arts), realism tradition largely influenced by Ancient Greek art to the more iconic, stylized art of the Middle Ages. Unlike classical art, Late Antique art does not emphasize the beauty and movement of the body, but rather, hints at the spiritual reality behind its subjects. Additionally, mirroring the rise of Christianity and the collapse of the western Roman Empire, painting and freestanding sculpture gradually fell from favor in the artistic community. Replacing them were greater interests in mosaics, architecture, and relief sculpture. As the soldier emperors such as Maximinus Thrax (r. 235–238) emerged from the provinces in the 3rd century, they brought with them their own regional influences and artistic tastes. For example, artists jettisoned the classical portrayal of the human body for one that was more rigid and frontal. This is markedly evident in the combined Porphyry (geology), porphyry Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs in Venice. With these stubby figures clutching each other and their swords, all individualism, Naturalism (art), naturalism, Roman verism, and Greek idealism diminish. The Arch of Constantine in Rome, which re-used earlier classicising reliefs together with ones in the new style, shows the contrast especially clearly. In nearly all artistic media, simpler shapes were adopted and once natural designs were abstracted. Additionally hierarchy of scale overtook the preeminence of perspective and other classical models for representing spatial organization. From around 300 Early Christian art began to create new public forms, which now included sculpture, previously distrusted by Christians as it was so important in pagan worship. Sarcophagi carved in relief had already become highly elaborate, and Christian versions adopted new styles, showing a series of different tightly packed scenes rather than one overall image (usually derived from Greek history painting) as was the norm. Soon the scenes were split into two registers, as in the Dogmatic Sarcophagus or the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (the last of these exemplifying a partial revival of classicism). Nearly all of these more abstracted conventions could be observed in the glittering mosaics of the era, which during this period moved from being decoration derivative from painting used on floors (and walls likely to become wet) to a major vehicle of religious art in churches. The glazed surfaces of the tesserae sparkled in the light and illuminated the basilica churches. Unlike their fresco predecessors, much more emphasis was placed on demonstrating a symbolic fact rather than on rendering a realistic scene. As time progressed during the Late Antique period, art become more concerned with biblical themes and influenced by interactions of Christianity with the Roman state. Within this Christian subcategory of Roman art, dramatic changes were also taking place in the Depiction of Jesus. Jesus Christ had been more commonly depicted as an itinerant philosopher, teacher or as the "Good Shepherd", resembling the traditional iconography of Hermes. He was increasingly given Roman elite status, and shrouded in purple robes like the emperors with orb and scepter in hand — this new type of depiction is variously thought to be derived from either the iconography of Jupiter (mythology), Jupiter or of classical philosophers. As for luxury arts, manuscript illumination on vellum and parchment emerged from the 5th century, with a few manuscripts of Roman literary classics like the Vergilius Vaticanus and the Vergilius Romanus, but increasingly Christian texts, of which Quedlinburg Itala fragment (420–430) is the oldest survivor. Carved ivory diptychs were used for secular subjects, as in the imperial and consular diptychs presented to friends, as well as religious ones, both Christian and pagan – they seem to have been especially a vehicle for the last group of powerful pagans to resist Christianity, as in the late 4th century Symmachi–Nicomachi diptych. Extravagant hoards of silver plate are especially common from the 4th century, including the Mildenhall Treasure, Esquiline Treasure, Hoxne Hoard, and the imperial Missorium of Theodosius I.


Literature

In the field of literature, Late Antiquity is known for the declining use of classical Greek and Latin, and the rise of literary cultures in Syriac language, Syriac, Armenian language, Armenian, Old Georgian language, Georgian, Ge'ez language, Ethiopic, Arabic language, Arabic, and Coptic language, Coptic. It also marks a shift in literary style, with a preference for encyclopedic works in a dense and allusive style, consisting of summaries of earlier works (anthologies, epitomes) often dressed up in elaborate allegorical garb (e.g., ''De nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae'' [The Marriage of Mercury and Philology] of Martianus Capella and the ''De arithmetica'', ''De musica'', and ''De consolatione philosophiae'' of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, Boethius—both later key works in medieval education). The 4th and 5th centuries also saw an explosion of Christian literature, of which Greek writers such as
Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, ''Eusébios tés Kaisareías''; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου), ...

Eusebius of Caesarea
, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom and Latin writers such as Ambrose of Milan, Jerome and Augustine of Hippo are only among the most renowned representatives. On the other hand, authors such as Ammianus Marcellinus (4th century) and Procopius of Caesarea (6th century) were able to keep the tradition of classical Hellenistic historiography alive in the Byzantine empire.


Poetry

Greek poets of the Late Antique period included Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus, Nonnus, Romanus the Melodist and Paul the Silentiary. Latin poets included Ausonius, Paulinus of Nola, Claudian, Rutilius Namatianus, Orientius, Sidonius Apollinaris, Corippus and Arator. Jewish poets included Yanai (Payetan), Yannai, Eleazar ben Killir and Jose b. Jose, Yose ben Yose.


Timeline

* 285: Roman Emperor, Emperor
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
splits the Roman Empire into Eastern Roman Empire, Eastern and Western Roman Empire, Western Empires. Beginning of the Tetrarchy. * 311: The emperor
Galerius Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus (; c. 258 – May 311) was from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by , against the , sacking their capital in 299. He also campaigned across the against the , defeating them in 297 and 300. ...

Galerius
issues the Edict of Serdica, ending the
Diocletianic Persecution#REDIRECT Diocletianic Persecution The Diocletianic or Great Persecution was the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. In 303, the Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and ...
of Christianity in the Roman Empire * 313: Constantine the Great, Constantine I defeats the ''augustus'' Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge and becomes ''augustus'' of the West. Constantine and
Licinius Licinius (; la, Valerius Licinianus Licinius ; (Ancient Greek Λίκινιος) (c. 265 – 325) was Roman emperor from 308 to 324. For most of his reign he was the colleague and rival of Constantine I, with whom he co-authored the Edict of Mi ...
issued the
Edict of Milan The Edict of Milan ( la, Edictum Mediolanense, el, Διάταγμα τῶν Μεδιολάνων, ''Diatagma tōn Mediolanōn'') was the February 313 CE agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire.Frend, W. H. C. ''Th ...
* 324: Constantine and Crispus defeat Licinius and Licinius II at the Battles Battle of Chrysopolis, of Chrysopolis and Battle of the Hellespont, of the Hellespont. * 325: First Council of Nicaea convened by Constantine I. * 330: 11 May dedication of the Column of Constantine at
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
marks the inauguration of the new city, New Rome. * 363: The pagan emperor Julian (emperor), Julian attacks the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...

Sasanian Empire
in his Julian's Persian War, Persian War; Romans are decisively defeated by Shapur II, Jovian (emperor), Jovian becomes emperor and cedes lands in a Perso-Roman Peace Treaty of 363, Perso-Roman Peace Treaty. * 376: The Thervingi under Fritigern, fleeing the Hunnic Invasion, are allowed to cross the Danube into Moesia * 378: At the Battle of Adrianople, Eastern Roman Emperor Valens is defeated and killed by Goths, Gothic rebels. First Siege of Constantinople (378), Siege of Constantinople by the Goths. * 380:
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
, Gratian, and Valentinian II issue the Edict of Thessalonica, establishing
Nicene Christianity The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Car ...
as the
state church of the Roman Empire The state church of the Roman Empire refers to the church approved by the Roman emperors after Theodosius I issued the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which recognized the catholic orthodoxy of Nicene Christians in the Great Church as the Roman Empi ...
. * 381: First Council of Constantinople convened by Theodosius in the Hagia Irene, Church of Hagia Irene. * 382: Influenced by Saint Ambrose, Roman Emperor Gratian Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism, persecutes paganism, removing the Altar of Victory. * 394: At the Battle of the Frigidus, Theodosius I defeats Eugenius, last pagan Roman ''augustus''. * 395: Roman Emperor
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
outlaws all Paganism, pagan religions in favour of Ancient Roman Christianity, Christianity. * 405: The Vulgate, Vulgate Bible is completed, mostly by the theologian Jerome. The Vulgate will be the only Bible widely used in the Latin West until the Reformation. * 406: The Crossing of the Rhine by a confederacy of Germanic tribes marks a turning point in the
Migration Period The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
. * 410: Alaric I Sack of Rome (410), sacks Rome for the first time since 390 BC. Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon convoked by Yazdegerd I, organizing the Church of the East. Final End of Roman rule in Britain, Roman departure from Britain. * 413: Walls of Constantinople, Theodosian Walls around Constantinople are completed, as the largest system of fortifications in Europe. Constantinople as a result will not be conquered by a siege until 1204. * 415: Hypatia of Alexandria, pagan female mathematician is murdered by a Christian mob. The murder of an academic was unusual, and sent shock waves through the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. * 431: Council of Ephesus convened by Theodosius II. * 432: Saint Patrick begins his conversion of Ireland to Christianity, Ireland becomes the first European nation outside of Roman territory to be converted. Celtic Christianity, otherwise known as insular Christianity begins to set traditions and customs unique to speakers of Celtic languages, while still venerating the Pope. * 451: Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, the Huns, Hunnic Confederation and an alliance of Western Roman Empire, Western Romans and
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe a ...
fight to a draw. Council of Chalcedon convened by Pulcheria and Marcian. * 453: Attila, Attila the Hun dies. * 454: Battle of Nedao: Various germanic vassals rebel against and defeat Attila son: Ellac. End of the Hunnic Empire in Western Europe * 455:
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic peoples, Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland. They established Vandal Kingdom, Vandal kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean islands, and North Africa in the fifth century. The ...
under Gaiseric, Genseric Sack of Rome (455), sack Rome. * 476: Romulus Augustus, last Western Roman Emperor is forced to abdicate by Odoacer, a half Hunnish and half Scirian chieftain of the Germanic tribes, Germanic Heruli; Odoacer returns the imperial regalia to Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno (emperor), Zeno in
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
in return for the title of ''dux'' of Italy; this marks the end of the Western Roman Empire and is often taken as marking the end of Classical Antiquity. * 486: In the Battle of Soissons (486), Battle of Soissons, Clovis I defeats the Roman rump state of Kingdom of Soissons, Soissons, establishing Merovingian Francia. * c.500: Battle of Badon: Major victory of the Celtic Britons upon the Anglo-Saxons in Britain. * 502: Beginning of the Anastasian War between Rome and Persia, lasting until 506. * 507: Battle of Vouillé: Clovis I of the Franks conquers Gallia Aquitania after defeating the Visigoths. * 526-532: Iberian War between Eastern Rome and Persia.The Persians keep Kingdom of Iberia , Iberia as a vassal. * 529: The Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I ordered the prominent philosophical schools of antiquity throughout the Eastern Roman Empire (including the famous Academy in Athens, among others) to close down—allegedly, because Justinian frowned upon the pagan nature of these schools * 532: Battle of Autun (532): Fall of the Kingdom of the Burgundians to the Franks. * 533-534: Vandalic War: The Eastern Roman General Belisarius reconquered Africa and destroys the Vandal Kingdom. * 534: The ''Corpus Juris Civilis'', otherwise known as the ''Code of Justinian'' is completed. The new law code will influence Medieval European Law and the Napoleonic Code. * 535-536: A volcanic explosion(presumably in Centro America) caused the Extreme weather events of 535–536: 18 months of a veil of dust and ashes darkened the sky, causing unseasonable weather, crop failures, and famines worldwide. * 536: Belisarius captures Rome for the emperor Justinian during the Gothic War (535–554). Beginning of the
Byzantine Papacy The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, wh ...
. * 537: The
Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia (; ; la, Sancta Sophia, lit=), officially known as the Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque ( tr, Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi, آياصوفيا  كبير جامع  شريف), and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia (; ; ) and for ...

Hagia Sophia
the largest Christian building ever created is built in Constantinople, becoming a center of Byzantine society for the next millennium, * 539/540: Another eruption in the tropics caused another volcanic winter and the
Late Antique Little Ice AgeThe Late Antique Little Ice Age was a long-lasting Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's ...
* 541-562: Long Lazic War between Eastern Rome and Persia.Status quo ante bellum. * 542:
Plague of Justinian The plague of Justinian or Justinianic plague (541–549 AD) was the first major outbreak In epidemiology, an outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or ...
arrives in Constantinople and spreads throughout the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
and Europe in the 540s, beginning the First plague pandemic which lasted until the 8th century. * 546:
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mention ...
under Totila Sack of Rome (546), sack Rome. * 547: Final volcanic winter of the
Late Antique Little Ice AgeThe Late Antique Little Ice Age was a long-lasting Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's ...
* 550: Justinianic Church of the Holy Apostles consecrated in
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
. * 553: Second Council of Constantinople convoked by Emperor Justinian I and presided over by Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople. * c. 560: Battle of Gol-Zarriun: The Hephthalite Empire is dissolved into minor kingdoms by a combined attack of Persia and the Western Turkic Khaganate * 567: Lombard–Gepid War (567): The Gepids, Gepid kingdom in Pannonia is destroyed by the Lombards and Avars. The Lombards will invade Italy the following year. * 572-591: Byzantine–Sasanian War of 572–591: Long conflict in the Caucasus. * 575/578: Sasanian reconquest of Yemen * 582-602: Maurice's Balkan campaigns:Last defense of the Danube frontier by emperor Maurice (emperor), Maurice * 585: The Kingdom of the Suebi in Gallaecia is destroyed by the Visigothic king Liuvigild. * 602: The beginning of the final Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, Byzantine-Sassanian War, lasting until 628. War encompasses entire Near East, exhausting both combatants. * 609: The emperor Phocas gives the Pantheon, Rome to Pope Boniface IV and it becomes a church. * 622: The Hegira:
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
and Abu Bakr flee Mecca for Medina and begin the Islamic community. * 626 : Pannonian Avars, Avar, Slavs, Slav, and Sasanian Empire, Sasanian Siege of Constantinople (626), Siege of Constantinople. * 626 : Slavs, Slav tribes in Moravia and Pannonia, led by the Frankish merchant Samo rebel against the Avar khagan, establishing the Samo's Empire, the first Slavic state. * 630: In the Pontic steppes, the Khazar Khaganate is formed, after the disintegration of the Western Turkic Khaganate * 634: The Battle of al-Qaryatayn marks the beginning of the Arab conquest of Syria. * 636: Battle of al-Qadisiyyah:The
Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, al-Khilāfah ar-Rāšidah) was the first of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an ...
conquered Mesopotamia. * 636: Battle of the Yarmuk: Khalid ibn al-Walid defeats the forces sent by Emperor
Heraclius Heraclius ( el, Ἡράκλειος, ''Hērakleios''; c. 575 – 11 February 641), sometimes called Heraclius I, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinop ...
. The Levant is annexed by the
Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, al-Khilāfah ar-Rāšidah) was the first of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an ...
. * 640: Battle of Heliopolis:Amr ibn al-A'as defeats the Eastern Rome army and begin the Muslim conquest of Egypt. * 641: Battle of Nahavand: Near collapse of the Sasanian Empire. * 650s: Battle of Balanjar (650s):Khazar Turks defeat the Rashidun Caliphate's forces.Begin of the Arab–Khazar wars * 651: Muslim conquest of Persia results in the Fall of the Sasanian Empire with the defeat, flight, and death of Yazdegerd III after the Battle of the Oxus. * 654: Abu'l-A'war, Abu'l-Awar defeats Constans II at the Battle of the Masts, first decisive naval victory of the Arab–Byzantine wars. * 661: First Fitna ends with the Hasan–Muawiya treaty between Hasan ibn Ali and Muawiyah I, recognizing the latter as the first Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad Caliph. * 663: Constans II removes the bronze tiles from the Pantheon, Rome. * 674: First Arab Siege of Constantinople, lasting until 678. * 680: Second Fitna begins after the death of Muawiyah I and lasts twelve years. Husayn ibn Ali is defeated by Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala. Third Council of Constantinople is convened by Constantine IV and Patriarch George I of Constantinople. * 681: First Bulgarian Empire established under ''Khan (title), khan'' Asparuh of Bulgaria, Asparuh by treaty with Constantine IV. * 688: Battle of Mamma: The Umayadd general Zuhayr ibn Qays defeats the berber king Kusaila. Collapse of the Kingdom of Altava * 691: Construction of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem begun by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, Abd al-Malik. * 698: Roman Carthage is razed by Hassan ibn al-Nu'man after the Battle of Carthage (698), Battle of Carthage. End of the Exarchate of Africa. * 705: Justinian II returns to power in Constantinople after a decade in exile with the help of ''khan'' Tervel of Bulgaria. * 706: Construction of the Great Mosque of Damascus begun by al-Walid I * 711: Battle of Guadalete, a Muslim army led by Ṭāriq ibn Ziyad, crosses into Spain, defeats the Visigoth king Roderic and began the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. * 717: Second Arab siege of Constantinople, lasting until 718. Last Arab intent of conquering the city. Bulgarian Khan Tervel arrives with an army and helps to rescue the city. * 718/722: Battle of Covadonga: Pelagius of Asturias, Don Pelayo defeat a local muslim army and founded the Kingdom of Asturias. Beginning of the Reconquista. * 726: Beginning of the Iconoclasm (Byzantine), First Iconoclast period under the emperor Leo III the Isaurian. * 732: Battle of Tours, a Muslim army led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, is defeated by the Mayor of Palace, Charles Martel of the Francia, kingdom of The Franks. Muslim advance in Gaul is stopped. * 739-742: Berber Revolt, Great Berber Revolt:Kharijite Berbers rebel against the Ummayad Caliphate in the Maghreb and Spain. Establishment of #Later years, several independent muslim Berber states in Africa. * 744: Third Fitna begins with the overthrow of al-Walid II by Yazid III, himself succeeded by Marwan II the same year. * 750: Ummayad Caliphate is overthrown in the Abbasid Revolution and the Abbasid Caliphate is established under As-Saffah. * 751: End of the
Exarchate of Ravenna The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy ( la, Exarchatus Ravennatis) was a lordship of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Rom ...
with Ravenna's capture by the Lombard king, Aistulf, and the death of the last exarch, Eutychius (exarch), Eutychius. * 751: Battle of Talas: The Abbasids defeats a Chinese army and consolidates his conquest of Muslim conquest of Transoxiana, Transoxiana * 752: End of the
Byzantine Papacy The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, wh ...
with death of Pope Zachary. * 756: After landing in Hispania, the Umayyad prince Abd al-Rahman I establishes the Emirate of Córdoba. * 762: History of Baghdad, Foundation of Baghdad by al-Mansur, north east and upriver of
Ctesiphon Ctesiphon ( ; Middle Persian: 𐭲𐭩𐭮𐭯𐭥𐭭 ''tyspwn'' or ''tysfwn''; fa, تیسفون; grc-gre, Κτησιφῶν, ; syr, ܩܛܝܣܦܘܢThomas A. Carlson et al., “Ctesiphon — ܩܛܝܣܦܘܢ ” in The Syriac Gazetteer last modi ...

Ctesiphon
on the Tigris. * 768:Charlemagne ascends as King of the Franks. He will establish the Carolingian Empire. * 787: Second Council of Nicaea convened by the empress Irene of Athens and her son Constantine VI ends the First Iconoclast period.


See also

*
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
* Peter Brown * Henri Pirenne * Fall of the Western Roman Empire *
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
*
Migration Period The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
* Roman–Persian Wars


Notes


References

* Perry Anderson, ''Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism'', NLB, London, 1974. * Peter Brown, ''The World of Late Antiquity: from Marcus Aurelius to Muhammad (CE 150–750)'', Thames and Hudson, 1989, * Peter Brown, ''Authority and the Sacred : Aspects of the Christianisation of the Roman World'', Routledge, 1997, * Peter Brown, ''The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity 200–1000 CE'', Blackwell, 2003, * Henning Börm, ''Westrom. Von Honorius bis Justinian'', 2nd ed., Kohlhammer Verlag, 2018, .
Review in English
. * Averil Cameron, ''The Later Roman Empire: CE 284–430'', Harvard University Press, 1993, * Averil Cameron, ''The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity CE 395–700'', Routledge, 2011, * Averil Cameron et al. (editors), ''The Cambridge Ancient History'', vols. 12–14, Cambridge University Press 1997ff. * Gillian Clark (historian), Gilian Clark, ''Late Antiquity: A Very Short Introduction'', Oxford University Press, 2011, * John Curran, ''Pagan City and Christian Capital: Rome in the Fourth Century'', Clarendon Press, 2000. * Alexander Demandt, ''Die Spätantike'', 2nd ed., Beck, 2007 * Peter Dinzelbacher and Werner Heinz, ''Europa in der Spätantike'', Primus, 2007. * Fabio Gasti,
Profilo storico della letteratura tardolatina
', Pavia University Press, 2013, . * Tomas Hägg (ed.) "SO Debate: The World of Late Antiquity revisited," in ''Symbolae Osloenses'' (72), 1997. * Scott F. Johnson ed., ''The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity'', Oxford University Press, 2012, * Arnold H.M. Jones, ''The Later Roman Empire, 284–602; a social, economic and administrative survey'', vols. I, II, University of Oklahoma Press, 1964. * * Bertrand Lançon, ''Rome in Late Antiquity: CE 313–604'', Routledge, 2001. * Noel Lenski (ed.), ''The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine'', Cambridge University Press, 2006. * Samuel N.C. Lieu and Dominic Montserrat (eds.), ''From Constantine to Julian: Pagan and Byzantine Views, A Source History'', Routledge, 1996. * Josef Lössl and Nicholas J. Baker-Brian (eds.), ''A Companion to Religion in Late Antiquity'', Wiley Blackwell, 2018. * Michael Maas (ed.), ''The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian'', Cambridge University Press, 2005. * Michael Maas (ed.), ''The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila'', Cambridge University Press, 2015. * Robert Markus, ''The end of Ancient Christianity'', Cambridge University Press, 1990. * Ramsay MacMullen, ''Christianizing the Roman Empire C.E. 100–400'', Yale University Press, 1984. * Stephen Mitchell, ''A History of the Later Roman Empire. CE 284–641'', 2nd ed., Blackwell, 2015. * Michael Rostovtzeff (rev. P. Fraser), ''The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire'', Oxford University Press, 1979. * Johannes Wienand (ed.), ''Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century CE'', Oxford University Press, 2015.


External links


New Advent – The Fathers of the Church
a Catholic website with English translations of the Early Fathers of the Church.
ORB Encyclopedia's section on Late Antiquity in the Mediterranean
fro
ORB


fro
ORB


a collaborative forum of Princeton and Stanford to make the latest scholarship on the field available in advance of final publication.

source documents from the Internet Medieval Sourcebook
Worlds of Late Antiquity
from the University of Pennsylvania *
Age of spirituality : late antique and early Christian art, third to seventh century
' from The Metropolitan Museum of Art {{Authority control Late antiquity, Classical antiquity, History of Asia by period History of Europe by period History of the Mediterranean History of Western Asia Near East 4th century 5th century 6th century in Asia 6th century in Europe 7th century in Asia 7th century in Europe Historical eras