Urban Interactions

Urban Interactions: Communication and Competition in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

This volume is dedicated to eliciting the interactions between localities across late antique and early medieval Europe and the wider Mediterranean. Significant research has been done in recent years to explore how late ‘Roman’ and post-‘Roman’ cities, towns and other localities communicated vis-à-vis larger structural phenomena, such as provinces, empires, kingdoms, institutions and so on. This research has contributed considerably to our understanding of the place of the city in its context, but tends to portray the city as a necessarily subordinate conduit within larger structures, rather than an entity in itself, or as a hermeneutical object of enquiry. Consequently, not enough research has been committed to examining how local people and communities thought about, engaged with, and struggled against nearby or distant urban neighbors.

Urban Interactions addresses this lacuna in urban history by presenting articles that apply a diverse spectrum of approaches, from archaeological investigation to critical analyses of historiographical and historical biases and developmental consideration of antagonisms between ecclesiastical centers. Through these avenues of investigation, this volume elucidates the relationship between the urban centers and their immediate hinterlands and neighboring cities with which they might vie or collaborate. This entanglement and competition, whether subterraneous or explicit across overarching political, religious or other macro categories, is evaluated through a broad geographical range of late ‘Roman’ provinces and post-‘Roman’ states to maintain an expansive perspective of developmental trends within and about the city.

Table of Contents


  • Ian Wood, University of Leeds


Editorial Introduction 

  • The N&N Editors



  • Lisa Bailey, University of Auckland
    • ‘The Innocence of the Dead Crowned You, the Glory of the Triumphant Crowned Me’: The Strange Rivalry between Bethlehem and Lyon in Eusebius Gallicanus sermon 11’
  • Michael Burrows, University of Leeds
    • ‘Tours vs Bourges: The Secular and Ecclesiastical Discourse of inter-city Relationships in the Accounts of Gregory of Tours’
  • Ann Christys, Independent Scholar
    • ‘Did All Roads Lead to Cordoba under the Umayyads?’
  • Michael J. Kelly, SUNY Binghamton  
    • ‘(Re-)laiming the Past: Seville and Mérida, the Struggle Against the Peripheral’
  • Dimitris Kyrtatas, University of Thessaly
    • Religious Conflict in (Roman) Nicomedia’
  • Javier Martinez Jimenez, Oxford University
    • ‘Reccopolitans and other Town Dwellers in the Southern Meseta’
  • Pedro Mateos Cruz, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
    • Emerita Augusta in Late Antiquity. The Transformation of Urbanism during the 4th and 5th centuries’
  • Michael Mulryan, University of Kent
    • ‘The so-called “Oriental Quarter” of Ostia: regions 3.16-17. A Neighbourhood in Late Antiquity’
  • Ioannis Papadopoulos, University of Leeds
    • ‘Between Alexandria and the Thebaid: Reactions, Interactions and the Revival of the Egyptian Spirit in Late Antiquity’
  • Isabel Sánchez Ramos, Université Bordeaux-Montaigne
    • ‘Looking through Landscapes: Ideology and power in the Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo’
  • Mark Tizzoni, Angelo State University
    • ‘Carthage: the Vandal póliς (polis)’
  • Douglas Underwood, University of St. Andrews
    • ‘Good Neighbours and Good Walls: Urban Development and Trade Networks in Late Antique South Gaul’
  • Iñaki Martin Viso, University of Salamanca
    • ‘A World of Diversity: Urban Communities in the Astur-Leonese Kingdom (9th-10th centuries)’


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