ANDRÉ CHASTAGNOL: Aspects de l’antiquité tardive. Saggi de storia antica 6. “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, Roma 1994. ISBN 88-7062-862-0. 395 p. ITL 350.000.
ARCTOS 30 /1996
André Chastagnol is well known for his studies on the social, economic and administrative history of the late Roman Empire, especially of the fourth century. Aspects de l’antiquité tardive is a collection of his twenty articles published between 1955 and 1989. Eleven are from the eighties. Chastagnol’s articles on Roman Gallia are absent from this publication; they will appear elsewhere. These articles have been organised into four sections. The papers of the first and the largest part discuss the administration of provinces in the late Roman Empire, particularly in Spain and North Africa, often in the light of inscriptions and legislation. The article on the sacerdotes in North Africa is an illustrative study of the development of the pagan provincial priesthood in the Christianized empire.
Chastagnol has also distinguished himself as a scholar of the Historia Augusta. Some of his articles on the problems of the Historia Augusta have been published in the second section of Aspects de l’antiquité tardive. Chastagnol has compared the Historia Augusta with late Latin writes like Claudian, Aurelius Victor, and Polemius Silvius. He also revealed anachronisms in the Historia Augusta. The article on Roman imperialism in the second and third centuries discusses the attitudes to invasion and defence in the light of the Historia Augusta compared with other sources. The third part contains two articles on Rome: one is on Maximianus’ visits to Rome, and other discusses the chronological problems of dating S. Paolo fuori le mure in Rome. The three articles of the fourth section consider taxes and prices. In ′Problèmes fiscaux du Bas-Empire′ Chastagnol participates in the discussion on the fiscal system of the late Roman Empire.