By Christopher Haas
Moment in basic terms to Rome within the historic international, Alexandria was once domestic to lots of past due antiquity's such a lot remarkable writers, philosophers, and theologians -- between them Philo, Origen, Arius, Athanasius, Hypatia, Cyril, and John Philoponus. Now, in Alexandria in past due Antiquity, Christopher Haas bargains the 1st publication to put those figures in the actual and social context of Alexandria's bustling city milieu. due to its transparent demarcation of communal limitations, Alexandria presents the trendy historian with an incredible chance to probe the multicultural make-up of an old city unit. Haas explores the large avenues and again alleys of Alexandria's neighborhoods, its suburbs and waterfront, and points of fabric tradition that underlay Alexandrian social and highbrow lifestyles. Organizing his dialogue round the city's spiritual and ethnic blocs -- Jews, pagans, and Christians -- he info the fiercely aggressive nature of Alexandrian social dynamics. unlike contemporary scholarship, which cites Alexandria as a version for peaceable coexistence inside a culturally assorted group, Haas reveals that the various teams' struggles for social dominance and cultural hegemony usually ended in violence and bloodshed -- a unstable state of affairs often exacerbated by way of imperial intervention on one facet or the other.Eventually, Haas concludes, Alexandrian society accomplished a undeniable balance and reintegration -- a method that ended in the transformation of Alexandrian civic identification through the the most important centuries among antiquity and the center a while.
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Additional info for Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict (Ancient Society and History)
Alexandria's relatIvely isolated geographical position earned it the epithet "Alexandria ad Aegyptum," that is, Alexandna "next to" or "toward" Egypt. " However, from the time of the Ptolemies to that of the Arabs, the prosperity of Alexandria was inextricably dependent upon the fertile lands of the Nile Delta and the regions up river. In the words of one anonymous secondcentury poet: "Seat of the immortal gods, august and wealthy, foundation of Alexander! The gentle climate and fertile soil of Egypt provide you with all good things, happy land!
I tried to cast my eyes down every street, but my gaze was sull unsatisfied, and I could not grasp all the beauty of the spot at once; some parts I saw, some I was on the point of seeIng, some I earnestly deSired to see , some I could not pass by; that which I actually saw kept my gaze fixed, while that which I expected to see would drag It to the next. "23 Even after allowance is made for hyperbole and rhetorical inventiveness, this account viVidly depicts the sense of archItectural movement generated by the Via Canopica.
Prior to the fourth century, the pagan community was undisputed in its cultural mastery of the city. For the pagans, Alexandrian identity was so intertwined with paganism, that the two were inseparable. This Identification was called mto question by the jewish community during the early empire, occaSionally with the backing of the Roman overlords. The pagans responded to this perceived threat with violence. By the early second century, however, the Jewish community was crushed and the pagans were able to reassert their hegemony.