- Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd
- Format: Hardback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 155mm x 236mm x 28mm | 703g
- Publication date: 1 October 2003
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0715631160
- ISBN 13: 9780715631164
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: 8 line drawings, 48 b&w photographs
The land that once formed the late-antique province of Epirus Vetus now straddles the border between Albania and Greece, a volatile area whose history since the Second World War has meant that modern political boundaries rather than those of antiquity have defined study of the ancient province. This book reassesses the archaeological evidence from the fourth to the seventh century AD, when the area changed from a Roman province to a distant region beyond the limits of the empire, using the data to construct a model of the changing social structures that underlay this important transition. The analysis reveals that these changes were not gradual transformations but rather a series of sharply defined discontinuities, and suggests that these processes resulted in a more fragmented society, in which groups coalesced around individuals rather than concepts of town or state. The book also examines the controversial issue of Slavic settlement in the area in the immediate post-Roman period, a subject that even today remains dominated by the questions of nationalism and ethnic identity that have recently had such tragic consequences in the Balkans.
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William Bowden is the Packard Research Fellow in the School of World Art Studies and Museology at the University of East Anglia. His published work includes The Sixth Century: Production, Distribution and Demand (1998, ed. with R. Hodges). He is working on the forthcoming publication of the 1994 to 1999 excavations of Butrint in Albania and is also involved in projects in Italy and Jordan.