Late Antiquity as a period has a complex history with moments when the issues pertaining to it seem to intensify. One of these was without a doubt the aftermath of World War I and reached its apex in 1923 during the International Congress of Historical Sciences in Brussels. The tragic events that had shaken Europe had a deep impact on historiography. In the aftermath of World War II, this trend was reversed on account of a progressive change of perspective and sensibility. In the last decades the favored epithets applied to Late Antiquity were “transformation”, “change”, “transition” and “evolution”. The idea of a “long” Late Antiquity has eventually superseded the previous discourse on when and why the Roman Empire declined. Instead of a caesura, the historical continuum, the longue durée, is stressed. The continuities between Christian Rome, Sasanian Iran, and Islam are being explored. Late Antiquity has become a popular subject of a historical research that is characterized by a wide variety of methods and a paradigm shift.
Part of the book: Antiquity and Its Reception