Essay about Changes During The Antique Period

1546 Words Feb 16th, 2016 null Page
Typically, the Late Antique period is seen to be characterized by decline in the towns of the Roman Empire. This period did see major changes in the urban landscape of many areas as administrative power accumulated in the hands of the imperial bureaucracy and many towns were reduced in size. Churches were becoming an intrinsic part of every city. Even the centers of power were shifting within the empire. This does not mean that empire was solely in decline, but rather the towns and cities of the Late Antique period were changing in order to accommodate the demands of the time. One of the major changes made in the Late Antique period was the shift in administrative power in Roman cities. In earlier periods of the empire, local elites provided the bulk of the money and effort for maintaining their own cities. This was not the case in the Late Antique period as the imperial bureaucracy took over the positions that so many of the local elite stopped filling because they saw no path to furthering their station (Maas, 38). Up to and even during this period, the wealthy civic leaders of Roman towns would perform liturgies, such as putting on games or sponsoring a public building, in order to benefit their home (Maas,38). When this system of public service was still functioning “a wealthy man would be more ashamed of fleeing a liturgy than he would be of diminishing his property through his liturgies” (Maas, 39). As time went on this obligation became more burdensome, and with…

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