“The appearance … of Douglas Boin’s Ostia in Late Antiquity is … a very welcome development and begins to fill an important gap in the study of ancient Ostia. Boin skillfully weaves together material and textual evidence to show theories that Ostia experienced “decline” or rapid Christianization in the third and fourth centuries are generally unfounded.” — Brent Nongbri, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
“Don’t be fooled by its nondescript title: Ostia in Late Antiquity compellingly…engages some of the most important debates in late antique history.” — Jacob Latham, Classical Journal
“Ostia in Late Antiquity will be valuable to both students and scholars, not least for its English summary of more than a decade’s worth of archaeological data as well as its up-to-date bibliography…. Boin’s work clearly demonstrates that Rome’s traditional religions remained an important part of civic identity in an increasingly Christian landscape.” — Simon Barker, American Journal of Archaeology
“In this compelling study, Boin eschews a catastrophic view of the transformation of Roman urban space during Late Antiquity in favor of a more nuanced and gradualist model … By embracing nuance, and through his frank acknowledgement that both continuity and change characterized urban life in this period, Boin has produced a forceful riposte to the catastrophic school. Highly recommended.” — G. I. Halfond, Choice
“The content is rich and thought provoking…. Boin’s book is a very welcome, innovative, and critical addition to [Russell] Meiggs’ Ostia (1973). It will certainly interest a wide range of readers.” — Bouke van der Meer, Journal of Roman Studies
“…ambitious and important for clarifying the early Christian and Jewish town.” — Michael Mulryan, Journal of Late Antiquity
Ostia Antica: Rome’s ancient harbor. Its houses and apartments, taverns and baths, warehouses, shops, and temples have long contributed to a picture of daily life in Rome. Recent investigations have revealed, however, that life in Ostia did not end with a bang but with a whimper. Only on the cusp of the Middle Ages did the town’s residents entrench themselves in a smaller settlement outside the walls. What can this new evidence tell us about life in the later Roman Empire, as society navigated an increasingly Christian world?
Ostia in Late Antiquity, the first study on Ostia to treat the Late Antique period, tackles the dynamics of this transformative time. It presents a social history of the town from the third through ninth century.