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  • From the Editor
  • Ralph Mathisen

After having had something of a western flavor in our last issue, the east strikes back in this issue with a raft of contributions on eastern topics. Simon Corcoran kicks things off with some hard-core legal scholarship regarding the development of the Code of Justinian, with a close analysis of the editing process that went on between the first and second editions of the Code in general and of an Anastasian law against pagans in particular. This latter theme is continued in the next two contributions, both dealing with how pagan monuments were dealt with in the eastern Roman Empire. Laurence Foschia investigates the construction and restoration of pagan cult structures in Greece in the fourth and early fifth centuries; she concludes that the restoration of pagan cult places resulted from local initiatives that could have other than religious significance and often were related to manifestations of Greek paideia. Troels Myrup Kristensen turns from construction to destruction with a study of the ideologies that resulted in Christian destruction of pagan images, and in particular of certain body parts, in late antique Egypt, and often involved ritualized "performance iconoclasm."

The themes of performance and the use of images in an Egyptian context is reprised in a study by Laura Miguélez-Cavero arguing that of the use of gestures and gesturality in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus of Panopolis incorporated contemporary practices to enhance the visual reception of the poem and bring it closer to what one would expect to see on the contemporary stage. The discussion of performance in these two studies then segues into the following two studies, both of which consider the role of performance in the context of Christian interactions. Adam Schor sees the exercise of patronage by Theoderet of Cyrrhus as manifesting elements of carefully planned performances intended to win audience sympathy and expand his network of contacts. And Adam Becker's study of the role played by "fear" in sixth-century Syriac martyr texts likewise acknowledges aspects of performance in the portrayals of martyrdoms in the Sasanian Empire. Next, Blake Leyerle looks at how John Chrysostom used images of filth to engender feelings of disgust for traditional Greco-Roman practices in his congregation. The articles conclude with a western study, in which Tarmo Toom considers Augustine's theories of language acquisition in the context of the views of Stoics, Epicureans, and Pyrrhonists. Finally, a rather expanded book review section commences with a review article by T.D. Barnes discussing the broader historical context of Ray Van Dam's recent book on Constantine. [End Page 181]

Late Antiquity has had an extensive conference presence since our last issue. At the beginning of April, the eighth Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity Conference assembled at the University of Indiana on the topic of "Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity" ( Spectacular local organization amenities coupled with a spate of excellent papers made the conference a huge success, and resulted in some lively discussion regarding future directions the conference might take. Late Antiquity also was very visible at both the Kalamazoo and Leeds International Medieval Congresses. At Kalamazoo, the Society for Late Antiquity sponsored its usual three Late Antiquity sessions, this time on the topics of "Celestial and Supernatural Phenomena," "Society and the Economy," and "Urban and Rural Life and Landscapes." We look forward to seeing some of these papers appear in published form in JLA. And at Leeds there were some forty papers dealing with some aspect of Late Antiquity. Both of these conferences, therefore, have become excellent Treffpunkte for the late antique crowd.

In conclusion, I would again like to thank our contributors, and to encourage our readers to continue not only to submit their scholarship for publication but also to encourage colleagues and libraries to subscribe to JLA ( [End Page 182]



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