Riot in Alexandria: Tradition and Group Dynamics in Late Antique Pagan and Christian Communities

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9780520262072: Riot in Alexandria: Tradition and Group Dynamics in Late Antique Pagan and Christian Communities

This innovative study uses one well-documented moment of violence as a starting point for a wide-ranging examination of the ideas and interactions of pagan philosophers, Christian ascetics, and bishops from the fourth to the early seventh century. Edward J. Watts reconstructs a riot that erupted in Alexandria in 486 when a group of students attacked a Christian adolescent who had publicly insulted the students' teachers. Pagan students, Christians affiliated with a local monastery, and the Alexandrian ecclesiastical leaders all cast the incident in a different light, and each group tried with that interpretation to influence subsequent events. Watts, drawing on Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac sources, shows how historical traditions and notions of a shared past shaped the interactions and behavior of these high-profile communities. Connecting oral and written texts to the personal relationships that gave them meaning and to the actions that gave them form, Riot in Alexandria draws new attention to the understudied social and cultural history of the later fifth-century Roman world and at the same time opens a new window on late antique intellectual life.

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"An extremely important work on the shaping of historical identities in late antiquity, Riot in Alexandria solidifies Watts' position as one of the leading commentators on late antique intellectual life."—Christopher Haas, author of Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict

About the Author:

Edward J. Watts, Associate Professor in the Department of History at Indiana University, is the author of City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria, winner of the Outstanding Publication Award from the Classical Association of the Midwest and South.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This innovative study uses one well-documented moment of violence as a starting point for a wide-ranging examination of the ideas and interactions of pagan philosophers, Christian ascetics, and bishops from the fourth to the early seventh century. Edward J. Watts reconstructs a riot that erupted in Alexandria in 486 when a group of students attacked a Christian adolescent who had publicly insulted the students teachers. Pagan students, Christians affiliated with a local monastery, and the Alexandrian ecclesiastical leaders all cast the incident in a different light, and each group tried with that interpretation to influence subsequent events. Watts, drawing on Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac sources, shows how historical traditions and notions of a shared past shaped the interactions and behavior of these high-profile communities. Connecting oral and written texts to the personal relationships that gave them meaning and to the actions that gave them form, Riot in Alexandria draws new attention to the understudied social and cultural history of the later fifth-century Roman world and at the same time opens a new window on late antique intellectual life. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520262072

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