Google Preview

News and Frontier Consciousness in the Late Roman Empire

Mark W. Graham
A novel interpretation of Roman frontier policy

Description

Prior to the third century A.D., two broad Roman conceptions of frontiers proliferated and competed: an imperial ideology of rule without limit coexisted with very real and pragmatic attempts to define and defend imperial frontiers. But from about A.D. 250-500, there was a basic shift in mentality, as news from and about frontiers began to portray a more defined Roman world—a world with limits—allowing a new understanding of frontiers as territorial and not just as divisions of people. This concept, previously unknown in the ancient world, brought with it a new consciousness, which soon spread to cosmology, geography, myth, sacred texts, and prophecy. The "frontier consciousness" produced a unified sense of Roman identity that transcended local identities and social boundaries throughout the later Empire.

Approaching Roman frontiers with the aid of media studies as well as anthropological and sociological methodologies, Mark W. Graham chronicles and documents this significant transition in ancient thought, which coincided with, but was not necessarily dependent on, the Christianization of the Roman world.

"Graham has created a fresh and lively study, both a synthesis and a work of innovation and intellectual confidence."
—David Braund, Department of Classics, University of Exeter

"In this rich and detailed study, Graham offers a comprehensive reassessment of the late Roman conception of the frontier. With its focus on the eastern and African limites, News and Frontier Consciousness effectively challenges the functionalist orthodoxy that the Romans displayed little awareness of the importance of their borders. Through a careful and theoretically informed reading of the sources, Graham has shown that frontier consciousness played a vital role in shaping thought and action in late Antiquity."
—Noel Lenski, Associate Professor of Classics and Chair, Classics Department, University of Colorado, Boulder

"In News and Frontier Consciousness in the Late Roman Empire, Graham argues a novel position that makes a genuine contribution both to the study of historical consciousness in the Roman empire, and to the area of frontier studies."
—David Potter, Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan

Cover Credit: West Side of Column Base, Column of Arcadius (Freshfield drawings, MS O.17.2). Used by courtesy of the Masters and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Mark W. Graham is Assistant Professor of History at Grove City College.

Praise / Awards

  • "In News and Frontier Consciousness in the Late Roman Empire, Graham argues a novel position that makes a genuine contribution to both the study of historical consciousness in the Roman empire, and to the area of frontier studies."
    —David Potter, Department of Classical Studies, The University of Michigan
  • "Graham has created a fresh and lively study, both a synthesis and a work of innovation and intellectual confidence."
    —David Braund, Department of Classics, University of Exeter
  • "In this rich and detailed study, Graham offers a comprehensive reassessment of the late Roman conception of the frontier. With its focus on the eastern and African limites, News and Frontier Consciousness effectively challenges the functionalist orthodoxy that the Romans displayed little awareness of the importance of their borders. Through a careful and theoretically informed reading of the sources, Graham has shown that frontier consciousness played a vital role in shaping thought and action in late Antiquity."
    —Noel Lenski, Associate Professor of Classics and Chair University of Colorado, Boulder

Look Inside

Copyright © 2006, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 266pp.
  • 2 maps, 8 B&W photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2006
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11562-4

Add to Cart
  • $85.00 U.S.

  • Open Access
  • 2006
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-90106-7

Read Online
nothing
nothing
nothing

Stay connected