Late Antique and Early Medieval Hispania: Landscapes without Strategy? [Paperback]

Pilar Diarte-Blasco(Author)

ISBN: 9781785709968 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 224p, H9.4 x W6.7,
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Late Antique and Early Medieval Hispania


Late Antique and Early Medieval Hispania. Landscapes without Strategy? examines the transformations of the urban and rural landscapes of the Iberian Peninsula, across one of the most turbulent periods of the history of this region, between the decay and disappearance of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Islamic troops (c. AD 400-711). It analyzes landscape changes in a global perspective, combining both rural and urban contexts, discarding orthodox and reductionist points of view, where both aspects are analyzed independently and as isolated compartments. Core to this period of change is the arrival in Hispania of heterogenic groups of barbarians, their settlement in the Peninsula, and their coexistence with the local Romanized populations.
Until fairly recently, any study of the impact of these new groups in towns and country was impossible because information was very limited. The level of research on this period has grown significantly in the last decade, considering not just Visigothic archaeology and history, but also those of other gentes (Suevi, Vandals, and Byzantines), and the Hispano-Roman substrate; this archaeology is no longer centered on burials (as was the case in the 20th century) but, vitally, also considers landscapes and settlements.
The volume examines not only the visibility and tangibility of these changes in the landscape and the nature of the related archaeology, but also what types of new authority were created by these powers and these are evident through changing patterns of social organization in the landscape. Questions addressed include: was this a heavily militarized landscape and one with clear differences between the older, Roman settlement forms? Was there a visible strategy in this new organization? Did powers like the Visigoths really control the landscape or was this more fragmented? Exploring these diverse aspects is fundamental for assessing cultural, physical and, settlement adaptations and impositions across late antique and early medieval Hispania.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface by Neil Christie
Part I. Hispania (AD 400–711). An historical, archaeological and geographical background
1. The Iberian Peninsula: a land of multiple landscapes?
2. The last decades of the Western Roman Empire and the processes of disengagement
Part II. Landscapes without strategy?
3. Building the urban picture in late antique Hispania
4. Far from the ancient villae: new forms of habitat in rural contexts
Part III. Peopling the landscape
5. Identifying post-classical populations in the archaeological record
6. Christian leaders? Impacts on town, country and people
7. Ethnic landscapes? Between natives and incomers
8. Conclusion. Landscapes of power and the new social organization of early medieval Hispania

Reviews & Quotes

"“… a breath of fresh air that, far from providing solutions invites…us to continue to deepen the characterisation of the 4th to 8th centuries in Hispania with greater certainty and greater number of documents and evidence.”"

Pyrenae ()

""...this book is yet another brilliant addition to the medieval collection of Oxbow books. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, it offers a valuable synthesis of the ongoing debates about economic, social and political issues occurring in the Iberian Peninsula in the late classical to early medieval centuries... I highly recommend this book to fellow historians with a particular interest in the concepts of continuity and change in the Iberian Peninsula across the centuries spanning from the fifth to the eight centuries AD.""

Open History ()

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