Bryn Mawr Classical Review 97.8.19

Andre Chastagnol, Aspects de l'Antiquite Tardive. Rome: "L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 1994. Pp. 395. ISBN 88-7062-862-0.

Reviewed by Richard Burgess, University of Ottawa,

Any volume of collected works by someone of the stature of Andre Chastagnol should be reason for celebration. Gathered together here for the first time is a series of papers covering a variety of topics not covered by Chastagnol's first collection of papers, L'Italie et l'Afrique au Bas-Empire, that appeared nine years ago. This volume covers C.'s more important other work and some more recent papers on the same topics as the earlier collected works volume all organized into four very broadly defined categories (an asterisk indicates a very short "Addendum" has been added to the end of the paper):

I. Provinces

1. "Les Espagnols dans l'aristocratie gouvernementale a l'Epoque de Theodose" (1965).*
2. "Les inscriptions constantiniennes du cirque de Merida" (1976).
3. "L'empereur Julien et les avocats de Numidie" (1979).
4. "Les inscriptions africaines de prefets du pretoire de Constantin" (1986)*
5. "Sur les sacerdotales africains a la veille de l'invasion vandale (1988).*
6. "L'inscription constantinienne d'Orcistus" (1981).
7. "La legislation sur les biens des villes au IVe siecle a la lumiere d'une inscription d'Ephese" (1986).*
8. "Un nouveau prefet du pretoire de Diocletien: Aurelius Hermogenianus" (1989).

II. L'Histoire Auguste

9. "Notes chronologiques sur l'Histoire Auguste et le Laterculus de Polemius Silvius" (1955).*
10. "Emprunts de l'Histoire Auguste aux 'Caesares' d'Aurelius Victor" (1967).*
11. "Le poete Claudien et l'Histoire Auguste" (1970).
12. "Le supplice de l'ecartelement dans les arbes (a propos d'Hist. Aug., Vita Aureliani, 7,4)" (1980).
13. "L'Histoire Auguste et l'imperialisme romain des IIe et IIIe siecles apres J.-C." (1982).
14. "La signification geographique et ethnique des mots Germani et Germania dans les sources latines" (1984).
15. "Rencontres entre l'Histoire Auguste et Ciceron (a propos d'Alex. Sev. 6,2)" (1987).

III. Rome

16. "Maximien Hercule a Rome' (1980-1).*
17. "Sur quelques documents relatifs a la basilique de Saint-Paul-hors-les-Murs" (1966).*

IV. Impots et Prix

18. "Problemes fiscaux du Bas-Empire" (1979).
19. "L'impot paye par les soldats au IVe siecle" (1977).
20. "Remarques sur les salaires et remunerations au IVe siecle (1980).

The papers are prefaced by a two page bibliography of C.'s works between 1986 to 1992 (bringing the total to 178!).

As can be seen from this list, however, while most of the papers date from the 1980s (11 of the 20), five are between twenty and forty years old. Many have dated rather badly (especially those on the HA), even though their interest and importance at the time they were written cannot be questioned.

Given the diverse nature of the topics I also wonder about the intended audience of this volume. Although my review copy did not contain any indication of price, the latest "L'Erma" di Bretschneider catalogue lists this book at 350,000 Lire or US$221, so anyone interested in what C. has to say on most of these topics would as likely as not just photocopy an article or two from the original journals rather than buy this volume. And since all of the papers have been reset with no indication of the original page numbers (not even the first and last pages are mentioned, even in the table of contents), anyone needing to cite any of these papers will have to do so from the original articles anyway.

So while one can hardly question the scholarship of these papers, the book as a whole seems ill-conceived and suitable only for a very few libraries.