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.
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