Late antiquity

late antiqueancientlateantiquityLate Romanlate classicalend of Antiquitylate Roman periodlatercities of late antiquity
Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, and the Near East.wikipedia
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Middle Ages

medievalmediaevalmedieval period
Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, and the Near East.
Population decline, counterurbanisation, invasion, and movement of peoples, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages.

Migration Period

barbarian invasionsGreat MigrationsGreat Migration
Migrations of Germanic tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating in the eventual collapse of the Empire in the West in 476, replaced by the so-called barbarian kingdoms.
The Migration Period was a period that began as early as 300 AD in which there were widespread migrations of peoples within or into Europe during the decline of the Roman Empire, mostly into Roman territory, notably the Germanic tribes and the Huns.

Christianity

ChristianChristiansChristian faith
Beginning with Constantine the Great, Christianity was made legal in the Empire, and a new capital was founded at Constantinople.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization, particularly around Europe during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

decline of the Roman Empirefall of the Roman Empirefall of Rome
Migrations of Germanic tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating in the eventual collapse of the Empire in the West in 476, replaced by the so-called barbarian kingdoms.
While the loss of political unity and military control is universally acknowledged, the Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events; the period described as Late Antiquity emphasizes the cultural continuities throughout and beyond the political collapse.

Early Middle Ages

early medievalEarlyDark Ages
In the West the end was earlier, with the start of the Early Medieval period typically placed in the 6th century, or earlier on the Western edges of the empire. The continuities between the later Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by Diocletian (r. 284–305), and the Early Middle Ages are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were already developing in the Christianized empire, and that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire at least until the coming of Islam.
The term "Late Antiquity" is used to emphasize elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, while "Early Middle Ages" is used to emphasize developments characteristic of the earlier medieval period.

Culture of Europe

EuropeanEuropean cultureEurope
The resultant cultural fusion of Greco-Roman, Germanic and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent culture of Europe.
Almost the only painted portraits surviving from the Ancient world are a large number of coffin-portraits of bust form found in the Late Antique cemetery of Al-Fayum.

Roman Empire

RomanRomansEmpire
Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century (c. 235 – 284) to, in the East, the Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century. The Roman Empire underwent considerable social, cultural and organizational changes starting with the reign of Diocletian, who began the custom of splitting the Empire into Eastern and Western halves ruled by multiple emperors.
In defining historical epochs, this crisis is sometimes viewed as marking the transition from Classical Antiquity to Late Antiquity.

Barbarian kingdoms

barbarian kingdomGermanic kingdomsBarbarian territories
Migrations of Germanic tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating in the eventual collapse of the Empire in the West in 476, replaced by the so-called barbarian kingdoms.
The barbarian kingdoms were Germanic, Hunnic and other kingdoms established all over Europe and North Africa during Late Antiquity, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Christianization

ChristianizedChristianizeChristianised
The continuities between the later Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by Diocletian (r. 284–305), and the Early Middle Ages are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were already developing in the Christianized empire, and that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire at least until the coming of Islam.
Various strategies and techniques were employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages.

Crisis of the Third Century

crisis of the 3rd centuryCrisisconfusion in the Imperial seat
Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century (c. 235 – 284) to, in the East, the Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century.
The crisis resulted in such profound changes in the empire's institutions, society, economic life and, eventually, religion, that it is increasingly seen by most historians as defining the transition between the historical periods of classical antiquity and late antiquity.

Peter Brown (historian)

Peter BrownBrown, PeterBrown
The development of the periodization has generally been accredited to historian Peter Brown, after the publication of his seminal work The World of Late Antiquity (1971).
He is credited with having brought coherence to the field of Late Antiquity, and is sometimes regarded as the inventor of the field.

History of the Roman Empire

late Roman Empirelate RomanRoman Empire
The continuities between the later Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by Diocletian (r. 284–305), and the Early Middle Ages are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were already developing in the Christianized empire, and that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire at least until the coming of Islam.
In defining historical epochs, this crisis is typically viewed as marking the start of the Late Roman Empire, and also the transition from Classical Antiquity to Late Antiquity.

Classical antiquity

antiquityclassicalancient
Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, and the Near East.
It ends with the dissolution of classical culture at the close of Late Antiquity (300–600), blending into the Early Middle Ages (600–1000).

Sasanian Empire

SasanianSassanidPersian
Islam appeared in the 7th century and spurred Arab peoples to invade the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanian Empire of Persia, destroying the latter; and, after conquering all of North Africa and Visigothic Spain, to invade much of modern France.
The Sasanian Empire during Late Antiquity is considered to have been one of Iran's most important, and influential historical periods and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam.

Chaldean Oracles

ChaldeanChaldean chroniclesChaldeans
Late Antiquity marks the decline of Roman state religion, circumscribed in degrees by edicts likely inspired by Christian advisors such as Eusebius to 4th century emperors, and a period of dynamic religious experimentation and spirituality with many syncretic sects, some formed centuries earlier, such as Gnosticism or Neoplatonism and the Chaldaean oracles, some novel, such as hermeticism.
When Christian Church Fathers or other Late Antiquity writers credit "the Chaldeans", they are probably referring to this tradition.

France

🇫🇷FrenchFRA
Islam appeared in the 7th century and spurred Arab peoples to invade the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanian Empire of Persia, destroying the latter; and, after conquering all of North Africa and Visigothic Spain, to invade much of modern France.
At the end of the Antiquity period, ancient Gaul was divided into several Germanic kingdoms and a remaining Gallo-Roman territory, known as the Kingdom of Syagrius.

Western Roman Empire

Western EmpireWesternWest
The Roman Empire underwent considerable social, cultural and organizational changes starting with the reign of Diocletian, who began the custom of splitting the Empire into Eastern and Western halves ruled by multiple emperors.
Their beginnings, together with the end of the Western Roman Empire, mark the transition from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

Visigoths

VisigothicVisigothGothic
Concurrently, some migrating Germanic tribes such as the Ostrogoths and Visigoths saw themselves as perpetuating the "Roman" tradition.
These tribes flourished and spread throughout the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, or what is known as the Migration Period.

Religion in ancient Rome

ancient Roman religionRoman religionRoman
Late Antiquity marks the decline of Roman state religion, circumscribed in degrees by edicts likely inspired by Christian advisors such as Eusebius to 4th century emperors, and a period of dynamic religious experimentation and spirituality with many syncretic sects, some formed centuries earlier, such as Gnosticism or Neoplatonism and the Chaldaean oracles, some novel, such as hermeticism.
That the spectacles retained something of their sacral aura even in late antiquity is indicated by the admonitions of the Church Fathers that Christians should not take part.

Alois Riegl

Riegl, Alois
The term Spätantike, literally "late antiquity", has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by Alois Riegl in the early 20th century.
This took the form of a study of late antiquity.

Anatolia

Asia MinorAsiaAnatolian
Concurrently, the continuity of the Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople meant that the turning-point for the Greek East came later, in the 7th century, as the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire centered around the Balkans, North Africa (Egypt and Carthage), and Asia Minor.
As the name "Asia" broadened its scope to apply to other areas east of the Mediterranean, Greeks in Late Antiquity came to use the name Μικρὰ Ἀσία (Mikrá Asía) or Asia Minor, meaning "Lesser Asia" to refer to present-day Anatolia.

Early Muslim conquests

Muslim conquestIslamic conquestIslamic conquests
Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century (c. 235 – 284) to, in the East, the Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century. The continuities between the later Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by Diocletian (r. 284–305), and the Early Middle Ages are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were already developing in the Christianized empire, and that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire at least until the coming of Islam.
Further south in Balkh region, in Bamiyan, indication of Sasanian authority diminishes, with a local dynasty seeming ruling from the late antiquity, probably Hepthalites subject to the Yabgu of Western Turks.

Villa

villasvilla suburbanaEuropean Villa
It was once thought that the elite and rich had withdrawn to the private luxuries of their numerous villas and town houses.
After the fall of the Roman Republic, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in Late Antiquity, sometimes transferred to the Church for reuse as a monastery.

Gaul

GallicGalliaGaulish
Beyond the Mediterranean world, the cities of Gaul withdrew within a constricted line of defense around a citadel.
While the Celtic Gauls had lost their original identities and language during Late Antiquity, becoming amalgamated into a Gallo-Roman culture, Gallia remained the conventional name of the territory throughout the Early Middle Ages, until it acquired a new identity as the Capetian Kingdom of France in the high medieval period.

Byzantine art

ByzantineByzantine styleByzantine tradition
As a complicated period bridging between Roman art and medieval art and Byzantine art, the Late Antique period saw a transition from the classical idealized realism tradition largely influenced by Ancient Greek art to the more iconic, stylized art of the Middle Ages.
The nature and causes of this transformation, which largely took place during late antiquity, have been a subject of scholarly debate for centuries.