Download PDF by Mark Humphries: Communities of the Blessed: Social Environment and Religious

By Mark Humphries

This booklet offers a brand new appraisal of spiritual swap within the Roman Empire, concentrating on the increase of Christianity in Northern Italy. Drawing on either archaeological facts and conventional literary assets, Mark Humphries examines Christiain origins and indicates how competing pursuits of bishops, emperors, and laity impacted the political, cultural, and theological improvement of the church.

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Additional resources for Communities of the Blessed: Social Environment and Religious Change in Northern Italy, AD 200-400 (Oxford Early Christian Studies)

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Chilver, Cisalpine Gaul, 90–1. COTC01 08/10/1999 12:13 PM Page 33 The north Italian human environment 33 however, who moved around northern Italy because of trade. Commerce across provincial boundaries attracted the scrutiny of the imperial government, which established customs stations staffed with imperial officials and their slaves. Transalpine routes in northeastern Italy came under the aegis of the portorium (customs network) of Illyricum, and the distribution of personnel associated with the portorium confirms the picture of close links between northeastern Italy and the Danubian provinces.

The prosperity of Canusium (Canosa di Puglia) in the fourth century: Dyson, Community and Society, 233. 37 It must also be remembered that trade operated on a number of different levels: some goods would have been traded at the most limited, local level, particularly perishable agricultural products of everyday use. 38 In northern Italy there were a number of such markets that attracted traders from the Po basin and beyond. The textile industry was particularly important: Milan was an important centre for distribution in the upper Po valley, while the linen industry benefited Faenza.

This sentiment is echoed by Herodian some two centuries later, but he draws greater attention to the role of Aquileia as a centre of exchange between land and sea, as well as being a considerable agricultural and industrial centre in its own right (Herodian 8. 2. 3). Archaeological and epigraphic evidence confirms this picture. At Aquileia itself there are the impressive remains of the harbour and its horrea, as well as numerous finds associated with trade. 51 The extent to which the tentacles of this trade extended westwards into northern Italy is unclear, but it is possible to infer its existence from the social networks that linked Aquileia and other centres in Venetia.

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