Social Conflict in the Age of Justinian: Its Nature, Management, and Mediation

Hardcover | May 4, 2013

byPeter N. Bell

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Our understanding of Late Antiquity can be transformed by the non-dogmatic application of social theory to more traditional evidence when studying major social conflicts in the Eastern Roman Empire, not least under the Emperor Justinian (527-565). Social Conflict in the Age of Justinianexplores a range of often violent conflicts across the whole empire - on the land, in religion, and in sport - during this pivotal period in European history. Drawing on both sociology and social psychology, and on his experience as a senior British Civil Servant dealing with violent political conflicts in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, Bell shows that such conflicts were a basic feature of the overwhelmingly agricultural political economy of the empire.These conflicts were reflected at the ideological level and lead to intense persecution of intellectuals and Pagans as an ever more robust Christian ideological hegemony was established. In challenging the loyalties of all social classes, they also increased the vulnerability of an emperor and hisallies. The need to legitimise the emperor, through an increasingly sacralised monarchy, and to build a loyal constituency, consequently remained a top priority for Justinian, even if his repeated efforts to unite the churches failed.

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Our understanding of Late Antiquity can be transformed by the non-dogmatic application of social theory to more traditional evidence when studying major social conflicts in the Eastern Roman Empire, not least under the Emperor Justinian (527-565). Social Conflict in the Age of Justinianexplores a range of often violent conflicts across...

Peter N. Bell is a Member of Common Room at Wolfson College, Oxford. His interests focus on the social and cultural history of Late Antiquity and its contemporary relevance, as well as on historical theory.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pagesPublished:May 4, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199567336

ISBN - 13:9780199567331

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of Maps and IllustrationsAbbreviationsPart 1: Approach, Methods, Sources1. Understanding Social Conflict2. The Analytical FrameworkPart 2: Three Case Studies3. Social Conflict in Countryside and Town4. Two Empire-wide Conflicts: the Circus Factions and the ChristiansPart 3: Ideological Conflicts - Their Management and Mediation5. Ideological Conflict in the Reign of Justinian I6. Constructing Legitimacy7. Hagia Sophia: Ideology in Stone a Case StudyPart 4: Conclusions8. ConclusionsBibliographyIndex