Thomas S. Burns

Emory University (Atlanta, USA)

IDENTITIES AND PATHWAYS TO POWER IN LATE ANTIQUITY


At the opening of the 3rd century CE, traditional Roman citizenship, or its lack, remained the core value of personal identity. By the end of the fourth century Christianity had clearly overtaken Roman citizenship in this regard, but one's profession, place of origin, and family background remained significant. Late Antiquity was characterized by great diversity and experimentation, and personal and group identities were parts of this volatile mix. Identities and Pathways to Power in Late Antiquity explores some of the alternative identities that real people chose to deploy in their quest for influence and power over their own lives and those of their children. Among the various means to achieve that end were: the naming of their children, joining groups, dress, private rituals, and choices in the manner of building their houses and in burying their loved ones