The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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Late Antiquity
(1,600 words)

Concept and Time Span

1. Until the mid-twentieth century, researchers understood late antiquity “as the long decay of ancient times, or as the commencement of the European-Byzantine Middle Ages.”1 Since then it has been regarded as an era ‘of its own,’ a genuine part of antiquity. Its characterization as a ‘time of decay’ arose from the evaluation of a humanistic, partly anti-Christian classicism—unl…

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Fuch, Markus E., “Late Antiquity”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 18 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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