Introduction. The Violence of Small Worlds: Re-thinking Small-scale Social Control in Late Antiquity

Wood, Jamie and Cooper, Kate (2020) Introduction. The Violence of Small Worlds: Re-thinking Small-scale Social Control in Late Antiquity. In: Conflict and Social Control in Late Antiquity: The Violence of Small Worlds. Cambridge University Oress, Cambridge. ISBN 9781108479394

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Abstract

Conflict and Social Control in Late Antiquity examines how the cultivation and application of violence across a range of ‘small worlds’ contributed to the making of society in the late Roman period. From households and families to schoolrooms and monasteries, chapters address the different roles that violence played in maintaining and reinforcing the social order, even during a period of intense religious and political change. Elites adopted a range of approaches – formal and informal, legal and illegal, private and public – to keep subordinates in their place. Especially important were the efforts of social elites to inculcate in their followers the idea that the social order was natural rather than contingent and therefore should not be challenged, but rather perpetuated. Chapters focus on written sources from the fourth and fifth centuries, mainly on Christian authors. Collectively, they show that rather than seeking to transform the fortunes of those who were most vulnerable in society (slaves, women, children), such writers drew creatively on pre-existing discursive traditions, in the process reproducing and (occasionally) attempting to mitigate the plight of the downtrodden.

Keywords:violence, social control, late antiquity, small worlds, family, household, monasticism, Christianity, religion
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V110 Ancient History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V320 Social History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V330 History of Religions
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:40388
Deposited On:17 Apr 2020 15:32

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