Strukturen der Spätantike
Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft
Die Kultur der Oberschichten
Peter Brown schreibt über die Kultur der Oberschichten:
"Two features of this new upper class are worth emphasizing.
First, alongside much blatant careerism, there was a genuine striving
to create an élite. The classical culture of Late Antiquity
was like a high-pitched pyramide: it strained at an 'aristocratization',
at producing men 'raised by habitual discipline above the common mass
of mankind'. Men sought, by studiously absorbing classical standards
of literature and by modelling their behaviour on the ancient heroes,
a stability, a certainty which they could no longer find in unselfconscious
participation in a traditional way of life. ... Secondly, no matter
how high the pyramid might be pitched, it was always open at the base."
The World of Late Antiquity. AD 150–750 (1971), 32.