<i>The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire:</i> Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Ralph W. Mathisen

in Fifty Years of Prosopography

Published by British Academy

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262924
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734434 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

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Several lessons have been leant from the three volumes of PLRE. The scholarly response suggests that the most sought-after attributes of any prosopographical catalogue are clearly formulated and stated criteria for inclusion, consistency in the application of the criteria, and completeness of coverage. In sum, PLRE has caused people to rethink many of the ways in which they look at late antiquity. The development of the material demonstrates the growing diversity of the Mediterranean world: PLRE by PLRE III, one has a massive array of eastern and western non-Romans both within and outside the imperial frontiers. As a result of its increasing inclusivity, PLRE became more of a secular PLA than a PLRE. Overall, this chapter concludes that PLRE has become the one work that must be on the shelves of anyone who proposes to make a comprehensive study of the late antique world.

Keywords: PLRE; prosopographical catalogue; Adolf Harnack; Theodor Mommsen; Roman Empire; late antiquity

Chapter.  7484 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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