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Athens II: Athens in Late Antiquity

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Together with Jerusalem and Rome, Athens stands today as a symbol of European culture. This image goes back a long way, having received a lasting imprint from the developments of Late Antiquity. The present volume focuses on this period, exploring the cultural and religious transformations of the city and the creation of symbolic images of Athens from the fourth to the sixth centuries AD from a variety of perspectives, including archaeology, ancient history, classical philology, Byzantine studies, and the history of religions. The contributions retrace reconfigurations of urban space and their impact on the sacred topography of Athens, as well as the changes in the Athenian panorama of learning and religion, uncovering various strategies employed to appropriate or counteract the Athenian past and its symbolic capital, whether by means of genealogy, by architectonic measures or by constructing literary images of the city suited to supporting particular claims. From the various competing discourses over the city, Late Antique Athens emerges as an emblem of higher learning and pagan religion, an image bequeathed to later European intellectual history.

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