Gathered together here are the fruits of 60 years of research by the late Sir Laurence Kirwan into the history and archaeology of the mid 1st millennium AD in the Middle Nile Valley, papers previously scattered through a wide range of publications. Kirwan's fieldwork in the region, undertaken between 1929 and 1936, kindled a life-long interest in the transition from the pagan Kushite kingdom to the medieval Nubian states of Nobadia, Makuria and Alodia (Alwa) and of their conversion to Christianity in the 6th century AD. The 25 studies, one published here for the first time, were often of seminal importance when they first appeared, the author being exemplary in his use of the written sources to elucidate the archaeological data. As the preface by the editors shows, the views expressed remain fundamental to modern scholarship, offering valuable insights into this still relatively obscure period of transition from the ancient to the medieval world.
This volume provides the first comprehensive overview of the extant Greek and Latin letter collections of late antiquity (ca. 300-600 C.E.). Bringing together an international team of historians, classicists, and scholars of religion, it illustrates how letter collections advertised an image of the letter writer and introduces the social and textual histories of each collection. Each chapter addresses a major collection of Greek or Latin literary letters, examining their assembly, publication, and transmission. In addition, contributions reveals how late antique letter collections operated as a discrete literary genre with its own conventions, transmission processes, and self-presentational agendas. This book will fundamentally change how people both read these texts and use letters to reconstruct the social history of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries.
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