From: 428 AD

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•  Notes  • Preface 1.  As in G. W. Bowersock, P. Brown, and O. Grabar (eds.), Late Antiquity. A Guide to the Post-Classical World (Cambridge, Mass., 1999). 2.  For an overall perspective see Arnaldo Marcone, “A Long Late Antiquity ? Considerations on a Controversial Periodization,” Journal of Late Antiquity Vol. 1, 1, Spring 2008, pp. 4–19. Introduction 1.  The Current Era (Common Era), which is the politically correct term, was actually introduced in the mid-sixth century, but did not become widespread until many centuries later. 2.  G. Duby, L’An Mil, Paris: Julliard, 1993; P. Magdalino (ed.), Byzantium in the Year 1000 AD, Leiden: Brill, 2002; B. Vincent, 1492. L’«année admirable», Paris: Aubier, 1991; S. Bernstein and P. Milza (eds.), L’année 1947, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, 1999; J. E. Wills Jr., 1688 A.D. A Global History, New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2001. 3.  As Arnaldo Momigliano has observed, the overthrow of Romulus Augustulus was “the inaudible end of an empire”: A. Momigliano, “La caduta senza rumore di un impero nel 476 d.C.” (1973), in Sesto contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico, Rome: Ed. di Storia e Letteratura, 1980, pp. 159–79); and yet this judgment, however distinguished, did not challenge the by then well-established historiographical tradition that took this event to be the dividing line between the ancient world and the Middle Ages (in the West). At the very most, it encouraged further reflection on the appropriateness of the criteria used in periodization. See G. W. Bowersock, “The Vanishing Paradigm of the Fall of Rome”(1996), in Selected Papers on Late Antiquity, Bari: Edipuglia, 2000, pp. 187–97, and A. Marcone, “A Long Late Antiquity? . . . ; C. Ando, “Decline, Fall and Transformation,” ibid., pp. 31–60. A. Marcone refers to the Italian edition of this book, and finds my own position “impossible to share,” but fails to explain why (p. 7, note 11). 4.  G. Traina, “La fine del regno d’Armenia,” in La Persia e Bisanzio, Rome: Accademia dei Lincei, 2004, pp. 353–72. 5.  G. Dagron,“Aux origines de la civilisation byzantine: langue de culture et langue d’État” (1969), in La romanité chrétienne en Orient. Héritages et mutations , London: Variorum, 1984, III, pp. 23–56. For a new assessment of this emperor, see F. Millar, A Greek Roman Empire: Power and Belief under Theodosius II (408–450), Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 2006. 6.  Using a bold comparison, the jurist Stefan Verosta has suggested a situation similar to that of Austria and Hungary between 1867 and 1918: the Roman Empire is therefore supposed to have become, in effect, a federal state that was only temporarily decentralized into two autonomous units, the eastern and the western partes. For this reason, Constantinople continued to think of the regions governed by barbarian kingdoms as “Roman” territory, even after the fall of the Empire of the West in 476. This juridical pretense would affect international politics for centuries to come: S. Verosta, “International Law in Europe and Western Asia between 100 and 650 A.D.,” Académie de droit international. Recueil des cours, 3, 1964 [1966], pp. 491–617, particularly 564. 7.  For general information, see W. E. Kaegi Jr., Byzantium and the Decline of Rome, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968, pp. 3–27; H. Montgomery, “The Parting of the Ways: Byzantium and Italy in the Fifth Century,” in  L. Rydén and O. Rosenqvist (eds.), Aspects of  Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium , Stockholm: Swedish Research Institute, 1993, pp. 11–19. For a work that is still fundamental, see S. Mazzarino, Stilicone. La crisi imperiale dopo Teodosio (1942), Milan: Rizzoli, 19902 , with an introduction by A. Giardina, “Stilicone o l’antico destino degli uomini vinti,” pp. vii–xxxvii. 8.  S. Mazzarino, Stilicone . . . , p. 87. For Mazzarino, this was the second great era of human crises in the Mediterranean: the first one was in 1200 bc, and the third was the “short century” in which Mazzarino himself lived: see F. Tessitore, Mazzarino e lo storicismo degli storici, Catania: Università degli Studi, 2003 ( 9.  For these questions, see A. Giardina, “Esplosione di tardoantico,” Studi Storici, 40, 1999, pp. 157–80; G. Fowden,“Elefantiasi del tardoantico?”Journal of Roman Archaeology, 15, 2002, pp. 681–86, and the roundtable debate recorded in E. Lo Cascio (ed.) “Gli spazi del tardoantico,” Studi Storici, 45, 2004, pp. 5–46. Lo Cascio explains the problems very well in his introduction...