Subtitled “An Ordinary Year at the End of the Roman Empire” this book is going to cover events of a “representative” year in many different places in the Empire, East and West. So it is less about following the sweep of events but creating a snapshot. An intriguing approach.
The Tour starts in Armenia, where the nobles deposed the King and did not replace him with anyone. This tended to nominally move the country into Persia’s orbit, but in effect they were still pretty independent, if not the political bone of contention they had been for the last three hundred years.
The next stop is Syria, where a general who had failed in his mission to Armenia stops at Simon the Stylite, a holy man who lived on top of a tall pillar in the desert outside a town. He cured the general of his affliction. These exotic holy men and hermits were a growing feature of Eastern Christianity.
The next stage is this same general escorting the new Patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, to the city. He would be ejected in a short time and help a branch of Christianity that spread into Persia.
Pretty interesting so far!