A spotlight on... Antiquity

March 29, 2018

From the Homeric epics of the 8th century BC to the fall of the Western Roman Empire over a thousand years later, the age of antiquity was one of conquest, discovery, and wonder. Classical antiquity saw the birth of Greek democracy and the transformation of the Roman Republic into a great empire. During late antiquity, Christianity and Islam grew across Europe and the Middle East, ultimately ushering in the Middle Ages. Explore our spotlight on essential figures and events of antiquity with the dictionaries and encyclopedias of Oxford Reference...

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Antiquity on 
Oxford Reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium


"Antiquity", in The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (3 ed.)


"Late antiquity", in The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (3 ed.)

Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895

 

"Antiquity", in the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895

The Oxford Companion to Chaucer


"Classical antiquity", in The Oxford Companion to Chaucer


Featured articles from 
The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

  • Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra who has gained enduring fame for her challenges to Roman power in the late third century
  • Constantinople, the principal city of the Eastern Roman Empire, founded by Constantine I in 324 on the site of the small city of Byzantium
  • Fall of the Western Empire, the series of events between 476 and 480 that resulted in a collapse of the western half of the Roman Empire
  • Augustine of Hippo, African bishop, theologian, saint, and author of the seminal Christian works Confessions and City of God
  • Arab conquestthe era of rapid expansion of tribes from the Arabian Peninsula after the death of Muhammad

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Explore antiquity with Oxford Essential Quotations

Oxford Essential Quotations

 "To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain forever a child."
— Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106–43 BC, Roman orator and statesman
Read more quotes from Cicero >

"History…is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind."
— Edward Gibbon, 1737–94, English historian 
Read more quotes from Edward Gibbon >

"I am not Athenian or Greek but a citizen of the world."
— Socrates, 469-399 BC, Greek philosopher (as quoted by Plutarch)
Read more quotes from Socrates > 


Featured blog posts

It’s not just decline and fall anymore… | OUPblog

It’s not just decline and fall anymore…

"One evening in mid-October 1764, the young Edward Gibbon sat among the ruins of the Capitol at Rome. The prospect before him must have looked like a Piranesi print–bony cattle grazing on thin grass in the shade of shattered marble columns..."

Read more >

Five tragic love stories across time | OUPblog

Five tragic love stories across time

"Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, had a number of romances that ended in tragedy. It is said that Cleopatra met Mark Antony (a Roman general) in Rome after the assassination of her lover, Caesar. They quickly fell in love and Antony followed her to Egypt, abandoning his own wife Octavia..."

Read more >

Did you know these 10 fascinating facts about museums? | OUPblog

Did you know these 10 fascinating facts about museums?

"The word museum comes from the Greek “mouseion,” the temples dedicated to the Muses and the arts they inspired. Around the 4th century BC, Aristotle founded a mouseion at his Lyceum school for the collection of specimens for his zoological studies..."

Read more >

From our partner presses

Berkshire Encyclopedia of China


"Terracotta Soldiers", in the Berkshire Encyclopedia of China

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)


"Cleopatra", in the Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (2 ed.)


"Homer", in the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (2 ed.)


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