Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity

ISBN : 9780199739400

Lucy Grig; Gavin Kelly
496 Pages
162 x 237 mm
Pub date
Jul 2012
Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity
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The city of Constantinople was named New Rome or Second Rome very soon after its foundation in AD 324; over the next two hundred years it replaced the original Rome as the greatest city of the Mediterranean. In this unified essay collection, prominent international scholars examine the changing roles and perceptions of Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity from a range of different disciplines and scholarly perspectives. The seventeen chapters cover both the comparative development and the shifting status of the two cities. Developments in politics and urbanism are considered, along with the cities' changing relationships with imperial power, the church, and each other, and their evolving representations in both texts and images. These studies present important revisionist arguments and new interpretations of significant texts and events. This comparative perspective allows the neglected subject of the relationship between the two Romes to come into focus while avoiding the teleological distortions common in much past scholarship. An introductory section sets the cities, and their comparative development, in context. Part Two looks at topography, and includes the first English translation of the Notitia of Constantinople. The following section deals with politics proper, considering the role of emperors in the two Romes and how rulers interacted with their cities. Part Four then considers the cities through the prism of literature, in particular through the distinctively late antique genre of panegyric. The fifth group of essays considers a crucial aspect shared by the two cities: their role as Christian capitals. Lastly, a provocative epilogue looks at the enduring Roman identity of the post-Heraclian Byzantine state. Thus, Two Romes not only illuminates the study of both cities but also enriches our understanding of the late Roman world in its entirety.


Part I. Introduction: Rome and Constantinople in context
1. Introduction: from Rome to Constantinople, Lucy Grig and Gavin Kelly
2. Competing Capitals, Competing Representations: Late Antique Cityscapes in Words and Pictures, Lucy Grig
3. The Rise of Constantinople: Old and New Rome Compared, Bryan Ward-Perkins
Part II. Urban Space and Urban Development in Comparative Perspective
4. The Notitia Urbis Constantinopolitanae, John Matthews
5. "It would be abominable for the inhabitants of this Beautiful City to be compelled to purchase water." Water and Late Antique Constantinople, James Crow
6. Aristocratic Houses and the Making of Late Antique Rome and Constantinople, Carlos Machado
Part III. Emperors in the City
7. Valentinian III and the City of Rome (425-455): Patronage, Politics, Power, Mark Humphries
8. Playing the Ritual Game in Constantinople (379-457), Peter Van Nuffelen
Part IV. Panegyric
9. Bright lights, Big City: Pacatus and the Panegyrici Latini, Roger Rees
10. A Tale of Two Cities: Themistius on Rome and Constantinople, John Vanderspoel
11. Claudian and Constantinople, Gavin Kelly
12. Epic Panegyric and Political Communication in the Fifth-Century West, Andrew Gillett
Part V. Christian Capitals?
13. There But Not There: Constantinople in the Itinerarium Burdigalense, Benet Salway
14. Virgilizing Christianity in Late Antique Rome, John Curran
15. "Two Romes, Beacons of the Whole World": Canonizing Constantinople, Neil McLynn
16. Between Petrine Ideology and Realpolitik: The See of Constantinople in Roman Geo-Ecclesiology after the End of the Acacian Schism (518-523), Philippe Blaudeau
Part VI. Epilogue
17. From Rome to New Rome, from Empire to Nation State: Reopening the Question of Byzantium's Roman Identity, Anthony Kaldellis
Index Locorum

About the author: 

Lucy Grig is Lecturer in Classics at Edinburgh University and author of Making Martyrs in Late Antiquity Gavin Kelly is Lecturer in Classics at Edinburgh University and author of Ammianus Marcellinus: The Allusive Historian.

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