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  • From the Editor
  • Noel Lenski

New evidence is brought to the table and old arguments overturned in this issue, which covers the entire chronological span of Late Antiquity from the late third to the early seventh-century (and beyond) and explores the full range of evidence types and arguments JLA hopes to cultivate.

Michael Kulikowski opens with a masterfully constructed catalog of tiny ingots listing the names and building endeavors of Urban Prefects of Rome. He not only adds two new examples of these tesserae to what is now the definitive catalog of the type but also uses the sparing information they record to offer new insights into the prosopography of the Urban Prefecture in the fifth and sixth centuries. Mischa Meier continues with an article on the "Honoria Affair," the notorious marriage proposal extended by the western empress to Attila the Hun. Revising older interpretations of the incident using insights gleaned from recent work on the sociology and politics of nomad empires, Meier is able to show that the differential treatment of the matter in Eastern and Western sources tells us much about both Hunnic political maneuvering in a redistributive steppe economy and about the widening rift between the imperial courts of East and West.

The middle pages of the issue are focused on architecture. Jonathan Bardill uses a careful study of the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople to show that the structure was built somewhat later than has traditionally been assumed and that it does not represent evidence of architectural rivalry between Justinian and members of the Constantinopolitan aristocracy, in particular Anicia Juliana. Indeed, the apparent innovation of the structure's gored dome is shown to be the product of a later renovation, and the redated structure thus proven not to have represented a prototype for Justinian's Hagia Sophia. Markus Löx then explores the development of the urban center of Valencia over the span of four centuries—fourth through seventh. Gradual shifts in the function of structures in the fourth century give way to more dramatic alterations in the fifth—when intramural burials are introduced—and more grandiose achievements in the sixth, with the introduction of the city's episcopal architecture and the shrine to its patron Saint Vincentius. Feyo Schuddeboom treats the conversion of temples to churches in Rome in a powerful revisionist study that refocuses attention away from Krautheimer's traditional argument that the city's crowded center precluded ecclesiastical development. Schuddeboom shows instead that Christian structures were indeed built in the city's center, but only fairly late and often by [End Page 1] organic integration into existing sacred spaces. Only Mithraea, which were summarily destroyed, present an exception to this rule.

The final triad of papers covers literary topics, beginning with Eirene Viltanioti's study of Macarius Magnes Apocricitus. Viltanioti joins vigorous and ongoing debates on the scope of Porphyry of Tyre's Contra Christianos by demonstrating that the anonymous "Hellene" attacked by Macarius was surely a Platonist and bears many resemblances to Porphyry in his arguments and style. Jeremy Swist offers an allegorizing reading of Himerius Oration 3 in which he argues that this blistering attack on Epicurus represents a veiled broadside against Himerius's Christian rival Prohaeresius. With this as background, Swist is able to contend that the speech may well have been delivered to Julian himself in 362. Finally Anna Peterson treats the anonymous Byzantine treatise known as the Patriot, which she shows to have been a sophisticated defense of Christianized Hellenism. The dialogue's two main participants, Critias and Triepho, seem to stand in, respectively, for a nostalgic defender of the pagan past and a skilled syncretist who deploys Lucianic comic tropes to present the case for a blending of Christian and traditional Hellenic cultural and literary values.

The issue is rounded out with a series of excellent reviews, the first by Kevin Wilkinson, who praises the recent publication of Alan Cameron's collected studies even as he offers critique of a newly published study on the hotly contested dating of the epigrammatist Palladas.

Overall the issue offers a perfectly balanced spread of historical, archaeological, and literary material and a pleasing mix of traditional scholarship...


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