People, Personal Expression, and Social Relations in Late Antiquity, Volume II

Selected Latin Texts from Gaul and Western Europe
Ralph W. Mathisen
A collection of Latin sources that shed light on the changing world of Late Antiquity throughout Western Europe


Late Antiquity, which lies between Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 250-750), heralded the gradual decline of Mediterranean classical civilization, and the initial formation of a strictly western European, Christian society. During this period, three momentous developments threatened the paternalistic Roman social system: the rise of the Christian church, the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the west, and the establishment of the barbarian kingdoms.

The first of its type, this volume presents a collection of Latin source documents illustrating the social upheaval taking place in the Late Roman and early medieval worlds. The texts included in this volume provide the original Latin for the selections that are translated in People, Personal Expression, and Social Relations in Late Antiquity, Volume I . The 140 selected texts gathered from 70 different sources offer the reader firsthand experience with the ways that the Latin language was being used during the transformative period of Late Antiquity.

Ralph W. Mathisen is Professor of Ancient and Byzantine History; Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Humanities; and Director, Biographical Database for Late Antiquity at the University of South Carolina.

Praise / Awards

  • "People, Personal Expression, and Social Relations in Late Antiquity will give its readers a useful introduction to the social changes and transformations that occurred in this dynamic period of European history. By making such a wide variety of texts, both in the original and in translation, easily available, Ralph Mathisen makes a significant contribution, knowing as he does we cannot understand this period if we do not understand the [sic] how those who lived then expressed themselves."
    Bryn Mawr Classical Review
  • ". . . Mathisen does not simply provide the translated passages with a brief introduction and commentary, but rather weaves the chosen texts into a fuller discussion of late antique culture and society. Second, Mathisen has collected and published the Latin original version of the texts in a second volume that complements the narrative volume. This is clearly a welcome innovation that will certainly influence future publications. . . . Mathisen has done a great service to many teachers, especially in those remote places where library resources are inadequate."
    Scripta Classica Israelica

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Copyright © 2003, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 296pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2003
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11246-3

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  • $85.00 U.S.