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Figure 1.

The epitome of classical decline. Th. Couture, Les Romains de la décadence (detail). (Paris, Musée d'Orsay)

Figure 1.

The epitome of classical decline. Th. Couture, Les Romains de la décadence (detail). (Paris, Musée d'Orsay)

formation of the Roman world"?[8] How and when are we to draw the line between Rome (representing the classical world) and Byzantium (representing a Christian theocracy)?[9] But something on which nearly all interested scholars would probably agree is that the transition to Christianity must be placed somewhere near the heart of this change.

At the same time, we are witnessing an increasing tendency among historians to turn to anthropology as a methodological guide for understanding ancient society, which also brings with

[8] P. Brown, The Making of Late Antiquity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1978); L. white, Jr., The Transformation of the Roman World: Gibbon's Problem After Two Centuries (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966); J. Herrin, The Formation of Christendom (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987); Giardina, Società romana e impero tardoantico .

[9] On this perennial theme, see A. Kazhdan and A. Cutler, "Continuity and Discontinuity in Byzantine

History," Byzantion 52 (1982): 429-78.

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