Leadership and Community in Late Antiquity: Essays in Honour of Raymond Van Dam (Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Book 26)

June 14, 2021
Leadership and Community in Late Antiquity: Essays in Honour of Raymond Van Dam (Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Book 26)

Throughout a distinguished career, Raymond Van Dam hascontributed significantly to our understanding of Late Antiquityand the early Middle Ages with ground-breaking studies on Gaul,Cappadocia, and the emperor Constantine. The hallmarks of hisscholarship are critical study of a wide variety of written andmaterial sources and careful historical analysis, insightfullyrooted in sociological and anthropological methodologies. Theessays in this volume, written by Van Dam's former students,colleagues, and friends, explore the dynamics between leaders andtheir communities in the fourth through seventh centuries. Duringthis period, people negotiated profound religious, intellectual,and cultural change while still deeply enmeshed in the legacy ofthe Roman Empire. The memory of the classical past was a powerfuland compelling social and political force for the denizens of LateAntiquity, even as their physical surroundings came to resembleless and less the ideals of the Greco-Roman city. These themes -leadership, community, and memory - have been central to Van Dam'swork, and the contributors to this volume build on the legacy ofhis scholarship. Their papers examine how leaders exercised theirauthority in their communities, at times exhibiting continuity withancient patterns of leadership, but in other cases shifting towardnew paradigms characteristic of a post-classical world. Takentogether, the essays produce a fuller picture of the Mediterraneanworld and add further nuance to our understanding of Late Antiquityand early Middle Ages as a time of both continuity andtransformation.