Ostia in Late Antiquity

Ostia in Late Antiquity

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Ostia Antica was Rome's ancient harbor. Its houses and apartments, taverns and baths, warehouses, shops and temples have long contributed to a picture of daily life in ancient Rome. Recent investigations have revealed, however, that life in Ostia did not end with a bang but with a whimper. Only on the cusp of the Middle Ages did the town's residents entrench themselves in a smaller settlement outside the walls. What can this new evidence tell us about life in the later Roman Empire, as society navigated an increasingly Christian world? Ostia in Late Antiquity, the first academic study on Ostia to appear in English in almost 20 years and the first to treat the Late Antique period, tackles the dynamics of this transformative time. Drawing on new archaeological research, including the author's own, and incorporating both material and textual sources, it presents a social history of the town from the third through the ninth century.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 308 pages
  • 127 x 182.88 x 20.32mm | 748.42g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 57 b/w illus. 1 map
  • 1107024013
  • 9781107024014
  • 1,434,314

Review quote

'... a very welcome development and begins to fill an important gap in the study of ancient Ostia. Boin skilfully weaves together material and textual evidence to show theories that Ostia experienced 'decline' or rapid Christianization in the third and fourth centuries are generally unfounded.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review 'In this compelling study, Boin eschews a catastrophic view of the transformation of Roman urban space during Late Antiquity in favor of a more nuanced and gradualist model ... By embracing nuance, and through his frank acknowledgement that both continuity and change characterized urban life in this period, Boin has produced a forceful riposte to the catastrophic school. Highly recommended. Graduate students/faculty.' G. I. Halfond, Choice 'This very readable and carefully edited book is dedicated to daily life in Rome's ancient harbour town of Ostia between c.AD 200 and 800. The content is rich and thought provoking ... [This book] will certainly interest a wide range of readers.' L. Bouke van der Meer, The Journal of Roman Studiesshow more

About Douglas Boin

Dr Douglas Boin is Assistant Professor of History at Saint Louis University, Missouri. He is an expert on the religious history of the Roman Empire, particularly as it pertains to the 'pagan', Christian and Jewish world of the ancient Mediterranean. Since 2010 he has taught in the Department of Classics at Georgetown University, Washington DC. His scholarship has appeared in The Journal of Roman Studies and The American Journal of Archaeology and he has authored entries on synagogues and church buildings for the multi-volume reference work The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Greco-Roman World. For ten years, he worked as an archaeologist in Rome, studying the site of a Roman synagogue at Ostia Antica, the harbor town of the empire's capital. He speaks regularly on aspects of late Roman history, archaeology and religion at national and international conferences.show more

Table of contents

Part I. Background: 1. New approaches to daily life in Late Antique Ostia; 2. The new urban image of Rome's ancient harbor; Part II. Foreground: 3. The third century: Roman religions and the long reach of the emperor; 4. The fourth century: proud temples and resilient traditions; 5. The fifth century: history seen from the spaces in between; 6. The sixth and seventh centuries: a city in motion, shifting traditions.show more