Curating the past: the retrieval of historical memories and utopian ideals

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Abstract

Utopia is a landscape of the imagination. In this introduction to the volume, Neil gives an overview of the roles played by the reshaping of texts, physical landscapes, and built environments from 300 to 750 CE in altering people’s memory of their common pasts. Neil looks at different definitions of utopia and reviews recent scholarship on memory studies. In framing the chapters to come, she introduces various methods of approach to memory studies dealing with late-antique sources. These range from North Africa, Italy, Spain, and Gaul in the West, to Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece, Palestine, and Syria in the East. Neil argues that we can find similar ideologically motivated discourses of destruction and reconstruction of the past right across the Later Roman Empire, from the initial contact of Graeco-Roman communities with Christians up to the Arab-Byzantine wars of the seventh and eighth centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemories of Utopia
Subtitle of host publicationthe revision of histories and landscapes in late antiquity
EditorsBronwen Neil, Kosta Simic
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Chapter1
Pages3-19
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429448508
ISBN (Print)9781138328679
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Monographs in Classical Studies
PublisherRoutledge

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