THE PAST BEFORE US. The challenge of historiographies of Late Antiquity, C. Straw and R. Lim (ed.).
Foreword of the editors of the series / Avant-propos des éditeurs de la collection.
Acknowledgments from the editors of the volume.
Notes on Contributors.
Carole Straw and Richard Lim – Introduction.
Glen W. Bowersock – Centrifugal Force in Late Antique Historiography.
Claude Lepelley – The Perception of Late Roman Africa, from Decolonization to the Re-Appraisal of Late Antiquity.
Lellia Cracco Ruggini – The Italian City from the Third to the Sixth Century : « Broken History » or Ever-Changing Kaleidoscope ?
N.G. Garsoïan – Armenian Historiography in Crisis.
Elizabeth A. Clark – Rewritting the History of Early Christianity.
Averil Cameron – History and the Individuality of the Historian : The Interpretation of Late Antiquity.
Evelyne Patlagean – Sorting out Late Antique Poverty in Paris around the ‘60s.
Philip Rousseau – The Historiography of Asceticism : Current Achievements and Future Opportunities.
Peter Brown – Conversion and Christianization in Late Antiquity : the Case of Augustine.
From the Introduction…
History is written in historical time. We moderns recognize that Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire embodies themes and prejudices of late-eighteenth century England. Gibbon’s glorification of Empire, his belief that luxury and peace had enervated the Roman spirit, his desire that Romans preserve an ethnic purity are hopes and fears arising from his own experience of that later and equally troubled First British Empire. More difficult is for us to appreciate how contemporary history is shaping our own writing. We are aware that we are building on generations of scholarship and ever-increasing amounts of new data ; but only future generations will have the historical perspective to evaluate how this dizzying world of globalization and diversity, microsocieties and macrosocieties has shaped the work of late twentieth-century scholars.