This book brings together a vast amount of information pertaining to the society, economy, and culture of a province important to understanding the entire eastern part of the later Roman Empire. Focusing on Egypt from the accession of Diocletian in 284 to the middle of the fifth century, Roger Bagnall draws his evidence mainly from documentary and archaeological sources, including the papyri that have been published over the last thirty years.
List of IllustrationsPrefaceA Note on References and AbbreviationsIntroduction31The Environment152The Cities453Country Villages1104City and Country1485People and Families1816Power and Dependence2087Languages, Literacy, and Ethnicity2308This World and the Next2619A Mediterranean Society310Appendix 1: Time327Appendix 2: Money and Measures330Appendix 3: The Nomes333Appendix 4: Glossary of Technical Terms336Bibliography339Index 1: General Index361Index 2: Index of Texts Discussed369
This is an immensely authoritative and detailed work that for many years will be the standard scholarly book on Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries. -- Alan K. Bowman, Christ Church, University of Oxford
Roger S. Bagnall is Professor of Classics and History at Columbia University. His many books include The Administration of the Ptolemaic Possessions Outside Egypt and Consuls of the Later Roman Empire.
"[This book] represents the most expansive study of Egyptian society in transition yet produced, both voluminously documented and self-critical in its use of papyrological evidence... A tremendous contribution to our understanding of social, economic, and administrative activity in early Byzantine Egypt--and therefore to our knowledge of the late Roman Empire as a whole."--David Frankfurter, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "This excellent book assesses the society, economy, and culture of Egypt in the fourth century... Whether dealing with changes in diet or the legal rights of slaves [Bagnall] paints an extraordinarily vivid picture of a century that straddles the end of the Classical world and the beginning of something entirely new."--Choice