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  • From the Editor
  • Noel Lenski

This issue offers an exciting lineup of papers, some by more senior scholars, others by relative newcomers, all of them outstanding in their quality. The volume opens with the publication of a bust of a Sasanian royal woman, perhaps an early seventh-century queen, which has been in a private collection for over a century but is being revealed to the general public for the first time here in an article by Vanessa Rousseau and Peter Northover. Brent Shaw follows with a fascinating study of Augustine and his contacts with imperial agents in early fifth-century North Africa. Through careful prosopographical work he is able to show how tenuous were the bishop’s connections with imperial powerbrokers before they set foot in his region. Wolf Liebeschuetz offers a reassessment of the question of “Arab Tribesmen and Desert Frontiers in Late Antiquity” by showing that the recent fashion for abandoning tribal—especially Ghassānid—identity as the fundamental determinant of Arab group cohesion needs to be rethought. In “Taxpayers and Their Money in Sixth-Century Egypt: Currency in the Temseu Skordon Codex” Leslie S.B. MacCoull uses numismatic and papyrological data to identify the unit of account common in the recently published Temseu Skordon Codex as the ΛΓ (33-nummi) copper coins known to have been issued by Justinian beginning in 538. David Parnell applies social network theory to the management of military units by Justinian’s generals in the period of the Italian reconquest, and Julia Dietrich shows how Gregory the Great developed a new epistemology in his Regula pastoralis that was not based on logical theories of knowledge but on the role of virtue as a determinant of understanding. Georgios Deligiannakis explores how polytheists looked at ancient images of the Gods in ways that differed from those of their Christian counterparts and above all those of moderns. Finally, Samuel Cohen investigates charges of Manichaeism in the Liber Pontificalis in order to show that these were grounded more in papal power-plays than any real threat from a practicing Manichaean community in fifth- and sixth-century Italy.

This is the first issue I have edited from my new academic home at Yale University where I was happy to join the departments of Classics and History in January 2015. Beginning with this issue, I have employed the services of an editorial assistant, Sean Northrup, who has been extremely useful in helping me correct and format manuscripts. The editorial board has also welcomed two new members in the persons of Sigrid Mratschek of the University of Rostock and Jan Willem Drijvers of the University of Groningen. Please take [End Page 1] note of my new quarters and send future manuscripts and correspondence to my new email at

That the study of Late Antiquity continues to thrive is perhaps in no way better attested than by the onward march of Shifting Frontiers meetings succeeding one another in perfect synchrony. The tenth meeting, hosted at the University of Ottawa on 21-24 March 2013, has just issued its proceedings in print under the title Shifting Genres in Late Antiquity, edited by Geoffrey Greatrex and Hugh Elton with the assistance of Lucas McMahon (Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate, 2015). The volume contains an introduction by Greatrex followed by twenty-two papers in six sections: I. Homiletics and Disputation; II. Ecclesiastical Genres; III. Visual Genres; IV. Procopius and Literature in the Sixth-Century Eastern Empire; V. Technical Genres; VI. Other Literary Genres. The eleventh meeting of Shifting Frontiers, hosted March 26-29 at the University of Iowa at Iowa City by Prof. Sarah E. Bond, with the assistance of Carlos Galvão-Sobrinho and Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent, has just gone off to rave reviews. It featured forty papers including keynote addresses by Ramsay MacMullen and Susanna Elm. Finally, Shifting Frontiers XII has just been assigned to the directorship of myself and Prof. Jan Willem Drijvers of the University of Groningen and will take place at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in Spring 2017. votis xii mvltis xxiiii! [End Page 2]



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