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> [ANG] City&Territory in Hispania in Late Antiquity, Pablo C. Díaz
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post 16/08/2008, 19:36 Quote Post

City and Territory in Hispania in Late Antiquity

Pablo C. Díaz

Źródło:Reti Medievali. Biblioteca

Fragment: In general, the evolution of the ancient city and the city/country relationship in the case of Hispania seems to conform to the general model of the western Empire in spite of the deficiencies in our documentation. The information we have from the written sources, beginning with the fifth century, seems to concur with that evolution, although the regional peculiarities and the new context brought about by the invasions and the end of the Western Empire make it difficult to present a single scheme. For example, our information on the fifth century comes essentially from Hydatius, whose knowledge only provides detailed information about the central years of the century and with special reference to Gallaecia and the north of Lusitania whereas archaeology, although essential for overcoming the depletion of interpretations based on written documentation, still does not provide us with sequences and contrastable information, studies of a regional nature or the possibility of comparisons among diverse areas. We still do not know the structures of the agrarian countryside and we know little about urban topographies and, although field research has multiplied in recent years, the question arises as to whether archaeological prospection will be able to provide us in the long term with anything more than topographical information or knowledge of morphologies which should be contrasted with the literary material.
The Germanic invasions beginning in 409 were to mean a fundamental chapter in the subsequent evolution of city/country relationships in Hispania. It is curious that the chronicler Hydatius, a representative of urban and Christian ideology, defender of the established order and the interests of the lower imperial dominating class, when summarising the situation of Hispania in 410, should cumulatively equate the savagery of the barbarians with the oppression of the State, by means of the exactor and soldiers, as causes of the ruin of the Peninsula and depletion of the cities (Chron. 48). Even in the extremitate oceani maris occidua from where Hydatius was writing, as a representative of the urban aristocracy of a small city (Aquae Flaviae ) he could not help but manifest with bitterness something which, as we have seen, was more than a mere literary topos, the cruel exploitation to which the small cities were subjected.

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