Christian Gaza in Late Antiquity
This valuable collection of thirteen studies provides an overview of recent research on central issues concerning the history of late antique Gaza. Several essays address various aspects of the continuity of pagan culture in Christian Gaza, festivals, spectacles, and the classical legacy of the fifth and sixth centuries, thus highlighting the public life of the city as a unique synthesis of the new and old worlds. Several articles deal with central topics pertaining to the monastic life developed in the region of Gaza and its vicinity between the fourth and seventh centuries. More specifically, they explore the rich Correspondence of Barsanuphius and John, the spiritual leaders of this monastic community. Two papers furnish an archeological survey of the monasteries of Gaza, and a discussion on the geographical and administrative aspects of its territory. Certain articles focus on the anti-Chalcedonian resistance of this monastic center in the wake of the council of Chalcedon, while others tackle the change of its stance in the time of Emperor Justin (518-527). In sum, this book covers a relatively neglected chapter in the complex and fascinating Christian history of the Holy Land.