late antiquity


Late antiquity is a used by historians to describe the time of transition from to the in and adjacent areas bordering the . The popularization of this periodization in English has generally been credited to historian , after the publication of his seminal work ' (1971). Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the 's (235–284) to the (622–750), or as roughly contemporary with the (224–651). In the West its end was earlier, with the start of the typically placed in the 6th century, or earlier on the edges of the . The Roman Empire underwent considerable social, cultural and organizational changes starting with the reign of , who began the custom of splitting the Empire into and Western portions ruled by . The Sasanian Empire supplanted the and began a new phase of the Roman–Persian Wars, the . The divisions between the became more pronounced. The of Christians in the early 4th century was by and under , was in the Empire. The 4th century was extended by the conversions of of , of and , who later invaded and ended the . During the late 4th century reign of , was the . became the permanent imperial residence in the East by the 5th century and superseded Rome as the largest city in the and the . The longest system, the -long was constructed to supply it with water, and the tallest Roman were erected there. of , , and tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating first in the by the in 410 and subsequent by the in 455, part of the eventual itself by 476. The Western Empire was replaced by the so-called , with the ruling Rome from . The resultant cultural fusion of , Germanic, and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent . In the 6th century, Roman imperial rule continued in the East, and the continued. The campaigns of led to the fall of the Ostrogothic and Vandal Kingdoms, and their reincorporation into the Empire, when the city of Rome and much of Italy and returned to imperial control. Though most of Italy was soon part of the , the Roman endured, ensuring the so called . Justinian constructed the , a great example of , and the first outbreak of the centuries-long took place. At , the Sasanians completed the , the colossal ' of which is the largest single-span of unreinforced in the world and the triumph of . The middle of the 6th century was characterized by extreme climate events ( and the ) and a disastrous pandemic ( in 541). The effects of these events in the social and political life are still under discussion. In the 7th century the disastrous and the campaigns of and facilitated the emergence of in the during the lifetime of . Subsequent and overthrew the Sasanian Empire and permanently wrested two thirds of the Eastern Roman Empire's territory from Roman control, forming the . The began the , and together with the establishment of the later 7th century , generally marks the end of late antiquity.


The term ''Spätantike'', literally "late antiquity", has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by in the early 20th century. It was given currency in English partly by the writings of , whose survey ''The World of Late Antiquity'' (1971) revised the view of a stale and ossified Classical culture, in favour of a vibrant time of renewals and beginnings, and whose ''The Making of Late Antiquity'' offered a new paradigm of understanding the changes in Western culture of the time in order to confront Sir 's ''The Making of the Middle Ages''. The continuities between the , as it was reorganized by (r. 284–305), and the are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were already developing in the empire, and that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or at least until the . Concurrently, some migrating such as the and saw themselves as perpetuating the "Roman" tradition. While the usage "Late Antiquity" suggests that the social and cultural priorities of endured throughout into the , the usage of "Early Middle Ages" or "Early Byzantine" emphasizes a break with the classical past, and the term "" tends to de-emphasize the disruptions in the former Western Roman Empire caused by the creation of Germanic kingdoms within her borders beginning with the ' with the in Aquitania in 418. The general decline of population, technological knowledge and standards of living in Europe during this period became the archetypal example of for writers from the . As a result of this decline, and the relative scarcity of historical records from Europe in particular, the period from roughly the early fifth century until the (or later still) was referred to as the "". This term has mostly been abandoned as a name for a historiographical epoch, being replaced by "Late Antiquity" in the periodization of the late West Roman Empire, the early Byzantine empire and the Early Middle Ages.Gilian Clark, ''Late Antiquity: A Very Short Introduction'' (Oxford 2011), pp. 1–2.


One of the most important transformations in Late Antiquity was the formation and evolution of the : , and, eventually, . A milestone in the rise of Christianity was the conversion of Emperor (r. 306–337) in 312, as claimed by his Christian panegyrist , although . Constantine confirmed the legalization of the religion through the so-called in 313, jointly issued with his rival in the East, (r. 308–324). By the late 4th century, Emperor had made , thereby transforming the Classical Roman world, which Peter Brown characterized as "rustling with the presence of many ." Constantine I was a key figure in many important events in Christian history, as he convened and attended the first ecumenical council of bishops at in 325, subsidized the building of churches and sanctuaries such as the in , and involved himself in questions such as the timing of Christ's resurrection and its relation to the . The birth of in the deserts of in the 3rd century, which initially operated outside the episcopal authority of the Church, would become so successful that by the 8th century it penetrated the Church and became the primary Christian practice. was not the only new Christian movement to appear in late antiquity, although it had perhaps the greatest influence. Other movements notable for their unconventional practices include the , holy men who ate only grass and chained themselves up; the movement, in which acting like a fool was considered more divine than folly; and the movement, where one practitioner lived atop a 50-foot pole for 40 years. Late Antiquity marks the decline of , circumscribed in degrees by edicts likely inspired by Christian advisors such as Eusebius to 4th-century emperors, and a period of dynamic religious experimentation and spirituality with many sects, some formed centuries earlier, such as or and the , some novel, such as . Culminating in the reforms advocated by being adopted by and formulated by to create an organized but short-lived pagan state religion that ensured its underground survival into the Byzantine age and beyond. Many of the new religions relied on the emergence of the ''codex'' (bound book) over the ''volumen'' (scroll), the former allowing for quicker access to key materials and easier portability than the fragile scroll, thus fueling the rise of synoptic , . Notable in this regard is the topic of the .

Laity vs clergy

Within the recently legitimized Christian community of the 4th century, a division could be more distinctly seen between the and an increasingly male leadership. These men presented themselves as removed from the traditional Roman motivations of and marked by pride, ambition and kinship solidarity, and differing from the married pagan leadership. Unlike later strictures on , celibacy in Late Antique Christianity sometimes took the form of abstinence from sexual relations after marriage, and it came to be the expected norm for urban . Celibate and detached, the upper clergy became an elite equal in prestige to urban notables, the ''potentes'' or ' (Brown (1987) p. 270).

The rise of Islam

Islam appeared in the 7th century, spurring Arab armies to invade the Eastern Roman Empire and the of , destroying the latter. After conquering all of and , the Islamic invasion was halted by at the in modern . On the rise of Islam, two main theses prevail. On the one hand, there is the traditional view, as espoused by most historians prior to the second half of the twentieth century and by Muslim scholars. This view, the so-called "out of Arabia"-thesis, holds that Islam as a phenomenon was a new, alien element in the late antique world. Related to this is the , according to which the invasions marked—through conquest and the disruption of Mediterranean trade routes—the cataclysmic end of Late Antiquity and the beginning of the . On the other hand, there is the modern view, associated with scholars in the tradition of Peter Brown, in which Islam is seen to be a product of the Late Antique world, not foreign to it. This school suggests that its origin within the shared cultural horizon of the late antique world explains the character of Islam and its development. Such historians point to similarities with other late antique religions and philosophies—especially Christianity—in the prominent role and manifestations of piety in Islam, in Islamic asceticism and the role of "holy persons", in the pattern of universalist, homogeneous monotheism tied to worldly and military power, in early Islamic engagement with Greek schools of thought, in the apocalypticism of Islamic theology and in the way the seems to react to contemporary religious and cultural issues shared by the late antique world at large. Further indication that Arabia (and thus the environment in which Islam first developed) was a part of the late antique world is found in the close economic and military relations between Arabia, the and the Sassanian Empire.Robert Hoyland, 'Early Islam as a Late Antique Religion', in: Scott F. Johnson ed., ''The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity'' (Oxford 2012) pp. 1053–1077.

Political transformations

The Late Antique period also saw a wholesale transformation of the and basis of life in and around the . The Roman citizen elite in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, under the pressure of taxation and the ruinous cost of presenting spectacular public entertainments in the traditional ', had found under the that security could only be obtained by combining their established roles in the local town with new ones as servants and representatives of a distant Emperor and his traveling court. After Constantine centralized the government in his new capital of (dedicated in 330), the Late Antique upper classes were divided among those who had access to the far-away centralized administration (in concert with the ), and those who did not—though they were well-born and thoroughly educated, a classical education and the election by the Senate to magistracies was no longer the path to success. Room at the top of Late Antique society was more bureaucratic and involved increasingly intricate channels of access to the emperor: the plain toga that had identified all members of the was replaced with the silk court vestments and jewelry associated with Byzantine imperial iconography. Also indicative of the times is the fact that the imperial cabinet of advisors came to be known as the ', or those who would stand in courtly attendance upon their seated emperor, as distinct from the informal set of friends and advisors surrounding the '.


The later Roman Empire was in a sense a network of cities. Archaeology now supplements literary sources to document the transformation followed by collapse of cities in the . Two diagnostic symptoms of decline—or as many historians prefer, 'transformation'—are subdivision, particularly of expansive formal spaces in both the ' and the public , and encroachment, in which artisans' shops invade the public thoroughfare, a transformation that was to result in the ' (marketplace). Burials within the urban precincts mark another stage in dissolution of traditional urbanistic discipline, overpowered by the attraction of saintly shrines and relics. In Roman Britain, the typical 4th- and 5th-century layer of within cities seems to be a result of increased gardening in formerly urban spaces. The city of Rome went from a population of 800,000 in the beginning of the period to a population of 30,000 by the end of the period, the most precipitous drop coming with the breaking of the during the . A similar though less marked decline in urban population occurred later in Constantinople, which was gaining population until the outbreak of plague in 541. In Europe there was also a general decline in urban populations. As a whole, the period of late antiquity was accompanied by an overall population decline in almost all Europe, and a reversion to more of a subsistence economy. Long-distance markets disappeared, and there was a reversion to a greater degree of local production and consumption, rather than webs of commerce and specialized production. Concurrently, the continuity of the Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople meant that the turning-point for the came later, in the 7th century, as the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire centered around the , North Africa ( and ), and . The degree and extent of discontinuity in the smaller cities of the Greek East is a moot subject among historians. The urban continuity of Constantinople is the outstanding example of the Mediterranean world; of the two great cities of lesser rank, was devastated by the Persian sack of 540, followed by the (542 onwards) and completed by earthquake, while survived its Islamic transformation, to suffer incremental decline in favour of in the medieval period. Justinian rebuilt his birthplace in , as ''Justiniana Prima'', more in a gesture of ''imperium'' than out of an urbanistic necessity; another "city", was reputed to have been founded, according to ' panegyric on Justinian's buildings, precisely at the spot where the general touched shore in North Africa: the miraculous spring that gushed forth to give them water and the rural population that straightway abandoned their ploughshares for civilised life within the new walls, lend a certain taste of unreality to the project. In mainland Greece, the inhabitants of , and abandoned their cities for fortified sites in nearby high places; the fortified heights of are typical of Byzantine urban sites in Greece. In Italy, populations that had clustered within reach of s began to withdraw from them, as potential avenues of intrusion, and to rebuild in typically constricted fashion round an isolated fortified promontory, or '; Cameron notes similar movement of populations in the Balkans, 'where inhabited centres contracted and regrouped around a defensible , or were abandoned in favour of such positions elsewhere." In the western Mediterranean, the only new cities known to be founded in Europe between the 5th and 8th centuries were the four or five ic "victory cities". in the is one: the others were ''Victoriacum'', founded by , which may survive as the city of , though a 12th-century (re)foundation for this city is given in contemporary sources; ''Lugo id est Luceo'' in the , referred to by , and ''Ologicus'' (perhaps ''Ologitis''), founded using labour in 621 by as a fortification against the Basques, modern . All of these cities were founded for military purposes and at least Reccopolis, Victoriacum, and Ologicus in celebration of victory. A possible fifth Visigothic foundation is ''Baiyara'' (perhaps modern ), mentioned as founded by Reccared in the 15th-century geographical account, '. The arrival of a highly urbanized Islamic culture in the decade following 711 ensured the survival of cities in the ''Hispaniae'' into the Middle Ages. Beyond the Mediterranean world, the cities of withdrew within a constricted line of defense around a citadel. Former imperial capitals such as and lived on in diminished form as administrative centres of the . In , where the break with Late Antiquity comes earliest in the 5th and the 6th century, most towns and cities had been in rapid decline during the 4th century during a time of prosperity until the last decades of the century, well before the withdrawal of Roman governors and garrisons; historians emphasizing urban continuities with the Anglo-Saxon period depend largely on the post-Roman survival of Roman . Aside from a mere handful of its continuously inhabited sites, like York and London and possibly Canterbury, however, the rapidity and thoroughness with which its urban life collapsed with the dissolution of centralized bureaucracy calls into question the extent to which had ever become authentically urbanized: "in Roman Britain towns appeared a shade exotic," observes , "owing their reason for being more to the military and administrative needs of Rome than to any economic virtue". The other institutional power centre, the , did not survive in Britain either.Loyn 1991:16. lamented the destruction of the twenty-eight cities of Britain; though not all in his list can be identified with known Roman sites, Loyn finds no reason to doubt the essential truth of his statement. can generally be defined as an age of cities; the Greek and Roman were locally organised, self-governing bodies of citizens governed by written constitutions. When Rome came to dominate the known world, local initiative and control were gradually subsumed by the ever-growing Imperial bureaucracy; by the the military, political and economic demands made by the Empire had crushed the civic spirit, and service in local government came to be an onerous duty, often imposed as punishment. Harassed urban dwellers fled to the walled estates of the wealthy to avoid taxes, military service, famine and disease. In the Western Roman Empire especially, many cities destroyed by invasion or civil war in the 3rd century could not be rebuilt. Plague and famine hit the urban class in greater proportion, and thus the people who knew how to keep civic services running. Perhaps the greatest blow came in the wake of the and subsequent , when the remaining trade networks ensured the Plague spread to the remaining commercial cities. The impact of this outbreak of plague has recently been disputed. The end of is the end of the Polis model, and the general decline of cities is a defining feature of Late Antiquity.

Public building

In the cities the strained economies of Roman over-expansion arrested growth. Almost all new public building in Late Antiquity came directly or indirectly from the emperors or imperial officials. Attempts were made to maintain what was already there. The supply of free grain and oil to 20% of the population of Rome remained intact the last decades of the 5th century. It was once thought that the elite and rich had withdrawn to the private luxuries of their numerous s and town houses. Scholarly opinion has revised this. They monopolized the higher offices in the imperial administration, but they were removed from military command by the late 3rd century. Their focus turned to preserving their vast wealth rather than fighting for it. The , which had functioned as a law court or for imperial reception of foreign dignitaries, became the primary public building in the 4th century. Due to the stress on civic finances, cities spent money on walls, maintaining baths and markets at the expense of amphitheaters, temples, libraries, porticoes, gymnasia, concert and lecture halls, theaters and other amenities of public life. In any case as Christianity took over many of these building which were associated with pagan cults were neglected in favor of building churches and donating to the poor. The Christian basilica was copied from the civic structure with variations. The bishop took the chair in the apse reserved in secular structures for the magistrate—or the Emperor himself—as the representative here and now of , the Ruler of All, his characteristic Late Antique . These ecclesiastical basilicas (e.g., and in Rome) were themselves outdone by Justinian's , a staggering display of later Roman/Byzantine power and architectural taste, though the building is not architecturally a basilica. In the former Western Roman Empire almost no great buildings were constructed from the 5th century. A most outstanding example is the in Ravenna constructed circa 530 at a cost of 26,000 gold i or 360 s of gold. City life in the East, though negatively affected by the plague in the 6th–7th centuries, finally collapsed due to Slavic invasions in the Balkans and Persian destructions in Anatolia in the 620s. City life continued in Syria, Jordan and Palestine into the 8th. In the later 6th century street construction was still undertaken in in Palestine, and was able to deflect with massive payments in gold in 540 and 544, before it was overrun in 609.M. Whittow, "Ruling the late Roman and early Byzantine city: a continuous history", ''Past and Present'' 129 (1990:3–29).

Sculpture and art

As a complicated period bridging between and and , the Late Antique period saw a transition from the classical idealized tradition largely influenced by Ancient Greek art to the more iconic, stylized art of the Middle Ages. Unlike classical art, Late Antique art does not emphasize the beauty and movement of the body, but rather, hints at the spiritual reality behind its subjects. Additionally, mirroring the rise of Christianity and the collapse of the western Roman Empire, painting and freestanding sculpture gradually fell from favor in the artistic community. Replacing them were greater interests in mosaics, architecture, and relief sculpture. As the soldier emperors such as (r. 235–238) emerged from the provinces in the 3rd century, they brought with them their own regional influences and artistic tastes. For example, artists jettisoned the classical portrayal of the human body for one that was more rigid and frontal. This is markedly evident in the combined in . With these stubby figures clutching each other and their swords, all , , Roman , and Greek diminish. The in Rome, which re-used earlier classicising s together with ones in the new style, shows the contrast especially clearly. In nearly all artistic media, simpler shapes were adopted and once natural designs were abstracted. Additionally hierarchy of scale overtook the preeminence of perspective and other classical models for representing spatial organization. From around 300 began to create new public forms, which now included , previously distrusted by Christians as it was so important in pagan worship. carved in relief had already become highly elaborate, and Christian versions adopted new styles, showing a series of different tightly packed scenes rather than one overall image (usually derived from Greek ) as was the norm. Soon the scenes were split into two registers, as in the or the (the last of these exemplifying a partial revival of classicism). Nearly all of these more abstracted conventions could be observed in the glittering mosaics of the era, which during this period moved from being decoration derivative from painting used on floors (and walls likely to become wet) to a major vehicle of religious art in churches. The glazed surfaces of the sparkled in the light and illuminated the basilica churches. Unlike their predecessors, much more emphasis was placed on demonstrating a symbolic fact rather than on rendering a realistic scene. As time progressed during the Late Antique period, art become more concerned with biblical themes and influenced by interactions of Christianity with the Roman state. Within this Christian subcategory of Roman art, dramatic changes were also taking place in the . Jesus Christ had been more commonly depicted as an itinerant philosopher, teacher or as the "Good Shepherd", resembling the traditional iconography of Hermes. He was increasingly given Roman elite status, and shrouded in purple robes like the emperors with orb and scepter in hand — this new type of depiction is variously thought to be derived from either the iconography of or of classical philosophers. As for luxury arts, manuscript illumination on vellum and parchment emerged from the 5th century, with a few manuscripts of Roman literary classics like the and the , but increasingly Christian texts, of which (420–430) is the oldest survivor. Carved ivory s were used for secular subjects, as in the imperial and s presented to friends, as well as religious ones, both Christian and pagan – they seem to have been especially a vehicle for the last group of powerful pagans to resist Christianity, as in the late 4th century . Extravagant s of silver plate are especially common from the 4th century, including the , , , and the imperial .


In the field of literature, Late Antiquity is known for the declining use of classical Greek and Latin, and the rise of literary cultures in , , , , , and . It also marks a shift in literary style, with a preference for encyclopedic works in a dense and allusive style, consisting of summaries of earlier works (anthologies, epitomes) often dressed up in elaborate allegorical garb (e.g., ''De nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae'' [The Marriage of Mercury and Philology] of and the ''De arithmetica'', ''De musica'', and ' of —both later key works in medieval education). The 4th and 5th centuries also saw an explosion of , of which Greek writers such as , , and and Latin writers such as , and are only among the most renowned representatives. On the other hand, authors such as (4th century) and (6th century) were able to keep the tradition of classical Hellenistic alive in the Byzantine empire.


Greek poets of the Late Antique period included , , , and . Latin poets included , , , , , , and . Jewish poets included , and .


* 285: splits the Roman Empire into and Empires. Beginning of the . * 311: The emperor issues the , ending the of Christianity in the Roman Empire * 313: defeats the ''augustus'' at the and becomes ''augustus'' of the West. Constantine and issued the * 324: Constantine and defeat Licinius and at the Battles and . * 325: convened by Constantine I. * 330: 11 May dedication of the at marks the inauguration of the new city, . * 363: The pagan emperor attacks the in his ; Romans are decisively defeated by , becomes emperor and cedes lands in a . * 376: The under , fleeing the , are allowed to cross the into * 378: At the , Eastern Roman Emperor is defeated and killed by rebels. First by the Goths. * 380: , , and issue the , establishing as the . * 381: convened by Theodosius in the . * 382: Influenced by Saint Ambrose, Roman Emperor , removing the . * 394: At the , Theodosius I defeats , last pagan Roman ''augustus''. * 395: Roman Emperor outlaws all religions in favour of . * 405: The is completed, mostly by the theologian . The Vulgate will be the only Bible widely used in the Latin West until the . * 406: The by a confederacy of marks a turning point in the . * 410: for the first time since 390 BC. convoked by , organizing the . Final . * 413: around Constantinople are completed, as the largest system of fortifications in Europe. Constantinople as a result will not be conquered by a siege until 1204. * 415: of Alexandria, pagan female mathematician is murdered by a Christian mob. The murder of an academic was unusual, and sent shock waves through the . * 431: convened by . * 432: begins his conversion of Ireland to Christianity, Ireland becomes the first European nation outside of Roman territory to be converted. , otherwise known as insular Christianity begins to set traditions and customs unique to speakers of Celtic languages, while still venerating the Pope. * 451: , the and an alliance of and fight to a draw. convened by and . * 453: dies. * 454: : Various germanic vassals rebel against and defeat Attila son: . End of the in Western Europe * 455: under . * 476: , last is forced to abdicate by , a half and half chieftain of the ; Odoacer returns the imperial regalia to in in return for the title of ''dux'' of ; this marks the end of the Western Roman Empire and is often taken as marking the end of Classical Antiquity. * 486: In the , defeats the Roman of , establishing . * c.500: : Major victory of the upon the in Britain. * 502: Beginning of the between Rome and Persia, lasting until 506. * 507: : of the Franks conquers Gallia Aquitania after defeating the Visigoths. * 526-532: between Eastern Rome and Persia.The Persians keep as a vassal. * 529: The Eastern Roman Emperor ordered the prominent philosophical schools of antiquity throughout the Eastern Roman Empire (including the famous , among others) to close down—allegedly, because Justinian frowned upon the pagan nature of these schools * 532: : Fall of the to the Franks. * 533-534: : The Eastern Roman General reconquered Africa and destroys the . * 534: The ', otherwise known as the ''Code of Justinian'' is completed. The new law code will influence Medieval European Law and the . * 535-536: A volcanic explosion(presumably in Centro America) caused the : 18 months of a veil of dust and ashes darkened the sky, causing unseasonable weather, crop failures, and famines worldwide. * 536: captures Rome for the emperor Justinian during the . Beginning of the . * 537: The the largest Christian building ever created is built in Constantinople, becoming a center of Byzantine society for the next millennium, * 539/540: Another eruption in the tropics caused another volcanic winter and the * 541-562: Long between Eastern Rome and Persia.Status quo ante bellum. * 542: arrives in Constantinople and spreads throughout the and Europe in the 540s, beginning the which lasted until the 8th century. * 546: under . * 547: Final volcanic winter of the * 550: Justinianic consecrated in . * 553: convoked by Emperor and presided over by . * c. 560: : The is dissolved into minor kingdoms by a combined attack of Persia and the * 567: : The in Pannonia is destroyed by the Lombards and Avars. The Lombards will invade Italy the following year. * 572-591: : Long conflict in the Caucasus. * 575/578: * 582-602: :Last defense of the Danube frontier by emperor * 585: The in Gallaecia is destroyed by the Visigothic king . * 602: The beginning of the final , lasting until 628. War encompasses entire Near East, exhausting both combatants. * 609: The emperor gives the to and it becomes a church. * 622: The : and flee for and begin the . * 626 : , , and . * 626 : tribes in Moravia and Pannonia, led by the Frankish merchant rebel against the Avar khagan, establishing the , the first Slavic state. * 630: In the Pontic steppes, the is formed, after the disintegration of the * 634: The marks the beginning of the . * 636: :The conquered Mesopotamia. * 636: : Khalid ibn al-Walid defeats the forces sent by Emperor . The Levant is annexed by the . * 640: : defeats the Eastern Rome army and begin . * 641: : Near collapse of the Sasanian Empire. * 650s: :Khazar Turks defeat the Rashidun Caliphate's forces.Begin of the * 651: results in the with the defeat, flight, and death of after the . * 654: defeats at the , first decisive naval victory of the . * 661: ends with the between and , recognizing the latter as the first . * 663: removes the bronze tiles from the . * 674: , lasting until 678. * 680: begins after the death of Muawiyah I and lasts twelve years. is defeated by at the . is convened by and . * 681: established under ' by treaty with . * 688: : The Umayadd general defeats the berber king . Collapse of the * 691: Construction of the on the in begun by . * 698: is razed by after the . End of the . * 705: returns to power in Constantinople after a decade in exile with the help of ''khan'' . * 706: Construction of the begun by * 711: , a Muslim army led by , crosses into Spain, defeats the Visigoth king and began the . * 717: , lasting until 718. Last Arab intent of conquering the city. Bulgarian Khan arrives with an army and helps to rescue the city. * 718/722: : defeat a local muslim army and founded the . Beginning of the . * 726: Beginning of the under the emperor . * 732: , a Muslim army led by , is defeated by the Mayor of Palace, of the . Muslim advance in Gaul is stopped. * 739-742: : Berbers rebel against the Ummayad Caliphate in the Maghreb and Spain. Establishment of . * 744: begins with the overthrow of by , himself succeeded by the same year. * 750: Ummayad Caliphate is overthrown in the and the is established under . * 751: End of the with Ravenna's capture by the Lombard king, , and the death of the last , . * 751: : The Abbasids defeats a Chinese army and consolidates his conquest of * 752: End of the with death of . * 756: After landing in Hispania, the Umayyad prince establishes the . * 762: of by , north east and upriver of on the . * 768: ascends as . He will establish the . * 787: convened by the empress and her son ends the First Iconoclast period.

See also

* * * * * * *



* Perry Anderson, ''Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism'', NLB, London, 1974. * , ''The World of Late Antiquity: from Marcus Aurelius to Muhammad (CE 150–750)'', Thames and Hudson, 1989, * Peter Brown, ''Authority and the Sacred : Aspects of the Christianisation of the Roman World'', Routledge, 1997, * Peter Brown, ''The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity 200–1000 CE'', Blackwell, 2003, * Henning Börm, ''Westrom. Von Honorius bis Justinian'', 2nd ed., , 2018, .
Review in English
. * , ''The Later Roman Empire: CE 284–430'', Harvard University Press, 1993, * Averil Cameron, ''The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity CE 395–700'', Routledge, 2011, * Averil Cameron et al. (editors), ''The Cambridge Ancient History'', vols. 12–14, Cambridge University Press 1997ff. * , ''Late Antiquity: A Very Short Introduction'', Oxford University Press, 2011, * John Curran, ''Pagan City and Christian Capital: Rome in the Fourth Century'', Clarendon Press, 2000. * Alexander Demandt, ''Die Spätantike'', 2nd ed., Beck, 2007 * Peter Dinzelbacher and Werner Heinz, ''Europa in der Spätantike'', Primus, 2007. * Fabio Gasti,
Profilo storico della letteratura tardolatina
', Pavia University Press, 2013, . * Tomas Hägg (ed.) "SO Debate: The World of Late Antiquity revisited," in ''Symbolae Osloenses'' (72), 1997. * Scott F. Johnson ed., ''The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity'', Oxford University Press, 2012, * Arnold H.M. Jones, ''The Later Roman Empire, 284–602; a social, economic and administrative survey'', vols. I, II, University of Oklahoma Press, 1964. * * , ''Rome in Late Antiquity: CE 313–604'', Routledge, 2001. * Noel Lenski (ed.), ''The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine'', Cambridge University Press, 2006. * Samuel N.C. Lieu and (eds.), ''From Constantine to Julian: Pagan and Byzantine Views, A Source History'', Routledge, 1996. * Josef Lössl and Nicholas J. Baker-Brian (eds.), ''A Companion to Religion in Late Antiquity'', Wiley Blackwell, 2018. * Michael Maas (ed.), ''The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian'', Cambridge University Press, 2005. * Michael Maas (ed.), ''The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila'', Cambridge University Press, 2015. * Robert Markus, ''The end of Ancient Christianity'', Cambridge University Press, 1990. * , ''Christianizing the Roman Empire C.E. 100–400'', Yale University Press, 1984. * Stephen Mitchell, ''A History of the Later Roman Empire. CE 284–641'', 2nd ed., Blackwell, 2015. * Michael Rostovtzeff (rev. P. Fraser), ''The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire'', Oxford University Press, 1979. * Johannes Wienand (ed.), ''Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century CE'', Oxford University Press, 2015.

External links

New Advent – The Fathers of the Church
a Catholic website with English translations of the Early Fathers of the Church.
ORB Encyclopedia's section on Late Antiquity in the Mediterranean


a collaborative forum of Princeton and Stanford to make the latest scholarship on the field available in advance of final publication.

source documents from the

from the *
Age of spirituality : late antique and early Christian art, third to seventh century
' from The Metropolitan Museum of Art {{Authority control Historical eras