Michele Salzman Named Associate Editor of New UC Press Journal

Studies in Late Antiquity to focus on wide range of topics regarding the ancient world

Michele Salzman

Michele Salzman, professor of ancient Mediterranean history, has been named an associate editor of a new journal, Studies in Late Antiquity, published by the University of California Press. The digital journal, which just published its inaugural edition, will feature original scholarship, book reviews, and exhibit reviews on a wide range of topics pertaining to the world of Late Antiquity (150 – 750 CE).

Studies in Late Antiquity differs from other journals that address various aspects of this field of study in its intention to foster multi- and interdisciplinary research which emphasizes the interconnectedness of the Mediterranean with other parts of the late ancient world.

“As scholars of Late Antiquity, we have grown accustomed to the methodological diversity of our field, which has long embraced the perspectives of Archaeology, History, Classics, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Art History. But because of this very diversity, we rarely find ourselves assembled in a single place,” the editors wrote in an essay explaining the need for the journal. “And, ironically, the more we found ourselves working with colleagues studying other regions, either as we try to address their ideas within our own work or to work collaboratively, the more we saw the need for a venue that would highlight the shared empirical, historiographic, and methodological concerns that hold the field together, however uneasily. … It is the aim of this journal to inspire dialogue, debate, and discovery: to create a forum that will bring together the various wings of the field in a wide-ranging and evolving conversation that will encompass different area studies and methodologies.”

The inaugural issue includes a paper by Salzman, “From a Classical to a Christian City: Civic Euergetism and Charity in Fifth Century Rome.” The historian evaluates the transition in 5th century Rome from a classical model of civic euergetism – a kind of public philanthropy – to one of Christian charity.

“Civic euergetism, which customarily entails public philanthropy publicly directed toward one’s city or fellow citizens, was a social transaction intended to gain personal glory,” Salzman wrote. “In Christian charity, the poor were now supposed to be the objects of acts of public giving.”

Scholars who view this transition as either continuity or novel change are adopting flawed models, she wrote in posting an alternative model for this transition that stresses “the dynamic, on-going interaction of civic euergetism and Christian charity. These two sets of ideas influenced one another even as they remained distinct components of justifications for the feeding of Rome well into the late 6th century.”

Studies in Late Antiquity is available online only at http://sla.ucpress.edu/. The first issue will be accessible free for the rest of 2017.

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