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S726 (I)


Based on nineteenth-century travelogues and surveys, archaeological archives and the author’s own excavations (described in a catalogue of 3,115 Byzantine sites), as well as on the hagiographic, patristic and rabbinic sources, this geo-historical study traces the dramatic demographic and economic expansion of fourth-sixth century AD Palestine. The evolving relations between its ethnic and religious components (Pagans, Jews, Samaritans, Judaeo-Christians, Orthodox, Monophysite and Nestorian Christians), are analyzed in depth, focussing on Christianity’s struggle for supremacy. The author offers a new and exciting interpretation of the Decline and Fall of Byzantine Palestine, caused long before the seventh-century Persian and Arab Conquests,by technological stagnation, debilitating illnesses, an anaemia-inducing diet, famines, epidemics and recurring Plagues.