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Title: Lower-class violence in the Late Antique West
Author: Burrows, Michael Harvey
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 0254
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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Historical sources from Late Antiquity are not primarily concerned with what might be called 'social history'. More often they are interested in matters of faith, war and politics, or the biographies of great men and women. Archaeology has allowed us great insight into the material culture of ordinary people during the period, but we still rely on history to inform us about the agency of the lower classes. Unfortunately the preoccupations of extant written sources make it difficult to understand how common people in Late Antiquity perceived their lives, and how they tried to influence their position in society. It is hoped that an investigation of lower-class violence will provide a way for us to gain some insight into these issues. Violence, as an extreme and relatively rare form of social interaction, cannot necessarily tell us about everyday concerns, but the implicit danger of violence means that it provides a good indicator of what issues and grievances were taken very seriously by common people in Late Antiquity. Moreover violence, especially as performed by lower-class people whose social role was non-violent, was one of the ways in which ordinary people in Late Antiquity caught the eye of contemporary writers. Consequently, though the evidence for lower-class violence in Late Antiquity is patchy and pejorative, it does actually exist, and occasionally in some detail. Therefore, violence will form the thematic thread of this investigation into the lives of lower-class people in Late Antiquity. It cannot hope to be an exhaustive analysis of their lives in general, but will hopefully provide some insight into their wants and needs, their experience of change and their relationships with authority.
Supervisor: Wood, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available