Travel, Communication and Geography in Late Antiquity brings together a set of papers that consider anew issues of travel, communication and landscape in Late Antiquity. This period witnessed an increase in long-distance travel and the construction of large new inter-provincial communications networks. The Christian Church's expansion is but one example of both phenomena. The contributions here present readers with new research on the explosion in travel and large-scale communication, and the effect on this of different geographical possibilities and limitations. The papers deal with a variety of travel experiences (religious pilgrimages; travel for work and educational purposes; journeys of the soul) and writings about travel; they look at various kinds of communication (ecclesiastical communication; communication for commerce; and the communication of religious identity); and they examine both physical and psychological aspects of geography, travel and communication.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Editors' introduction; Introduction: And up and down the people go, J.F. Drinkwater. Part 1 Aspects of secular travel in late antiquity: Introduction; Cicilia, geography, and the late Roman empire, Hugh Elton; Student travel to intellectual centers: what was the attraction?, Edward Watts; Letters of recommendation and the circulation of rural laborers in the late Roman west, Cam Grey; Milestones, communications, and political stability, Ray Laurence. Part 2 Elite communication networks: Introduction; How were bishops informed? Information transmission across the Adriatic Sea in late antiquity, Claire Sotinel; Libanius' letters as evidence for travel and epistolary networks among Greek elites in the 4th century, Scott Bradbury; Travel and communication in The Letters of Symmachus, Michele R. Salzman; The collected letters of Ambrose of Milan: correspondence with contemporaries and with the future, J.H.W.B. Liebeschuetz. Part 3 Reconsidering late antique pilgrimage: Introduction; Empresses in the Holy Land: the creation of a Christian Utopia in late antique Palestine, Noel Lenski; Itinerant spirituality and the late antique origins of Christian pilgrimage, Maribel Dietz; Sinai pilgrimage and ascetic romance: pseudo-Nilus' Narrationes in context, Daniel Caner; Pilgrims and foreigners: Augustine on travelling home, Gillian Clark; Indexes.
'The papers in this volume offer insight into their varied social, political, and religious topics in Late Antiquity. They also, however, present valuable conceptual models, derived from the authors' close analysis of specific sources rather than from pre-existing theoretical models, of the interaction of elements of ancient societies. These models are potentially transferable to discussions of other periods of history; they offer informative and stimulating ways of approaching our sources.' Ancient History