A.H.M. Jones and the Later Roman Empire (Brill's Series on by David M. Gwynn

By David M. Gwynn

The looks in 1964 of A.H.M. Jones' "The Later Roman Empire 284-602: A Social, monetary, and Administrative Survey" remodeled the learn of the past due old global. during this quantity a couple of top students think again the influence of Jones' nice paintings, the impacts that formed his scholarship, and the legacy he left for later generations.

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Sample text

Further, there is a revealing parenthesis in the preface, coming just after this sentence: “This is not to say that I have not read and profited from many modern books and articles”. It reads: “particularly those whose authors were so kind as to send me offprints”. The Professor of Ancient History at Cambridge receives many papers and monographs ex officio. If he is a world-figure, his post is the heavier. And that is just the start: the “offprints” of the parenthesis may stand as proxy for the whole range of communication that Jones was involved in with scholars, beginning with colleagues, ex-students and current students.

But though he may have swung away from the traditional presentation 7 8 Jones (1952) 354. As is noted by Liebeschuetz (1992) 2. 9 These words presage Jones’ own preoccupation with Roman legal and constitutional history in his last years, which marked something of a return to the fold of traditional history-writing. In any case, Jones made a significant concession to the established historiographical tradition, in beginning his Later Roman Empire with over 300 pages of narrative. Even his greatest admirers wish he had not done so.

Wolf Liebeschuetz states: “the influence was one of subject, method and ‘scholarly morality’, but not of views”. Jones’ methodology meant that he included very few references to the secondary literature in his publications. This neglect of the secondary material was regularly criticised. 27 In the same passage, Jones goes on to explain “how slender is the evidence for many modern theories, which often pass untested on the authority of a great name”. Therefore, for Jones, as long as there was evidence of close working from the primary texts, historians had little need to refer to the secondary literature, which was the product of minds situated in the modern world.

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