Book Series Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, vol. 26

Leadership and Community in Late Antiquity

Essays in Honour of Raymond Van Dam

Young Richard Kim, A. E. T. McLaughlin (eds)

  • Pages: xiv + 337 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:12 b/w, 2 col., 5 graphs
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2020

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58323-5
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58324-2
  • E-book
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A collection of essays in honour of Raymond Van Dam upon the occasion of his retirement, with contributions from former students, colleagues, and friends. Together, they explore the dynamic, complex relationship between leadership and community in Late Antiquity.


“This ‘Festschrift’ in honour of Raymond Van Dam is a joy to read. The twelve contributions are of excellent quality and almost all have new insights and perspectives to offer (…)This volume is a wonderful tribute to a great scholar of late antiquity. But it is more than that. All contributions have not only profited from Van Dam’s scholarship and have built on it, but also have brought it a step further by offering new insights in topics and themes that have been a long-lasting concern of Van Dam as a scholar.” (Jan Willem Drijvers, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 06.08.2021)

“This volume is more than a tribute to an individual, it is a record of a movement in scholarship.” (Geoffrey D. Dunn, in The Medieval Review, 21.12.19)



Young Richard Kim is Associate Professor, Classics and Mediterranean Studies and History, at The University of Illinois at Chicago.

A. E. T. McLaughlin teaches History and Theology at Gannon University.


Throughout a distinguished career, Raymond Van Dam has contributed significantly to our understanding of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages with ground-breaking studies on Gaul, Cappadocia, and the emperor Constantine. The hallmarks of his scholarship are critical study of a wide variety of written and material sources and careful historical analysis, insightfully rooted in sociological and anthropological methodologies. The essays in this volume, written by Van Dam’s former students, colleagues, and friends, explore the dynamics between leaders and their communities in the fourth through seventh centuries. During this period, people negotiated profound religious, intellectual, and cultural change while still deeply enmeshed in the legacy of the Roman Empire. The memory of the classical past was a powerful and compelling social and political force for the denizens of Late Antiquity, even as their physical surroundings came to resemble less and less the ideals of the Greco-Roman city. These themes — leadership, community, and memory — have been central to Van Dam’s work, and the contributors to this volume build on the legacy of his scholarship. Their papers examine how leaders exercised their authority in their communities, at times exhibiting continuity with ancient patterns of leadership, but in other cases shifting toward new paradigms characteristic of a post-classical world. Taken together, the essays produce a fuller picture of the Mediterranean world and add further nuance to our understanding of Late Antiquity and early Middle Ages as a time of both continuity and transformation.


List of Images


Introduction: Leadership and Community — YOUNG RICHARD KIM AND A. E. T. MCLAUGHLIN

Abstract Social Network Modelling and the Rise of Singular Bishops: Textual Guidance from Three Urban Roman Settings — ADAM M. SCHOR

Leadership and Community in Late Antique Poitiers — LISA BAILEY

Go Set a Watchman: The Bishop as Speculator — BRENT D. SHAW

Attitudes about Social Hierarchy in a Late Antique City: The Case of Libanius and John Chrysostom’s Antioch — JACLYN MAXWELL

The Authority of Tradition: Governors and their Capitals in Late Antique Asia Minor — GARRETT RYAN

Peter Beyond Rome: Achilleus of Spoleto, Neon of Ravenna, and the Epigramma Longum — DENNIS TROUT

Remembering Constantina at the Tomb of Agnes and Beyond — VIRGINIA BURRUS

Roofing Rome: Church Coverings and Power in the Postclassical City — BENJAMIN GRAHAM AND PAOLO SQUATRITI

How Was a ‘New Rome’ Even Thinkable? Premonitions of Constantinople and the Portability of Rome — ANTHONY KALDELLIS

The Sack of Rome in 410: The Anatomy of a Late Antique Debate — SHANE BJORNLIE

Hagiography, Memory, and the Fall of Rome in Ostrogothic Italy — JONATHAN J. ARNOLD

Conclusion: Leadership and Community in Late Antiquity — NOEL LENSKI

Select Curriculum Vitae, Raymond Van Dam