After IMC Leeds 2017

This year’s International Medieval Congress in Leeds came to an end. The Presbyters Project hosted two sessions that drew a considerable audience. In the first session, David Hunter presented a paper on the clerical profits in the writings of Ambrosiaster which was followed by David Natal’s paper on the Church and private property in Ambrose of Milan. This discussion on the fourth-century Italy was counterpointed by a paper by Marta Szada on the economic status of the local clergy in the seventh-century Spain.


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David Natal presenting his paper. In the audience (from left) David Hunter, Robert Wiśniewski and Bertrand Lançon.


In the second session, Isabelle Mossong gave a survey of epigraphical evidence from Italy that could serve to define more precisely the economic role of presbyters, Claire Sotinel presented the material provided by the papal correspondence, and eventually, the P.I. of the Presbyters Project, Robert Wiśniewski delivered a paper on the payments received by clerics for ritual expertise. To our delight, in both sessions, the papers were followed by vivid discussions, especially that the papers probably offered more questions than answers. Hopefully, soon our database will help scholars in all over the world to answer those (and many others) questions about the presbyters in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages.


Sessions of the Presbyters Project at IMC Leeds 2017

This year again the project “Presbyters in the Late Antique West” will be present at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds. We are organizing two sessions on 5 July about income and property of clerics in Late Antiquity.

The schedule of the sessions:

Income and Property of Clerics  in Late Antiquity I, 5 July 2017, 09.00-10.30, Social Sciences Building, Room 10.05

  1. Ambrosiaster and the Problem of Clerical Profit
    • David Hunter, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Kentucky
  2. Church and Private Property in Ambrose of Milan (d. 397)
    • David Natal Villazala, Departamento de Prehistoria, Historia Antigua y Arqueología, Universidad de Salamanca
  3. The Workman Is Worthy of His Meat?: Economic Status of the Local Clergy in 7th-Century Spain
    • Marta Szada, Instytut Historyczny, Uniwersytet Warszawski

Income and Property of Clerics in Late Antiquity II, 5 July 2017, 11.15–12.45, Social Sciences Building, Room 10.05

  1. Income and Property of Late Antique Clergy: Epigraphical Realities
    • Isabelle Mossong, Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik, Deutsches Archäologisches InsKtut, München
  2. Financial Issues Concerning Presbyters in Papal Correspondence
    • Claire Sotinel, Centre de recherche en histoire européenne comparée (CRHEC), Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne
  3. Not a Grand Scandal, but Little Embarrassment: Paying Clerics for Ritual Expertise in Late Antiquity
    • Robert Wiśniewski, Instytut Historyczny, Uniwersytet Warszawski

Here the schedule in PDF: Income_Plaw

Bryan Ward-Perkins and the levels of sanctity

On 25 May, at the late antique seminar in Warsaw, Bryan Ward-Perkins was talking on the levels of cult and of sanctity as revealed by the Cult of Saints Project. He also announced the official launch of the Cult of Saints database, which will take place on 1 November 2018 (All Saints Day!). He apparently liked our strawberries.


Presbyters and their authority in Paris


On 12 May Robert Wiśniewski presented the project at the yearly meeting of the society Textes pour l’histoire de l’Antiquité Tardive in Paris. He also delivered a paper La construction de l’autorité presbytérale. Robert argued that the presbyters had a very limited access to the means of persuasion and their authority resulted rather from their reputation of religious experts. This in turn was based not so much on their alleged sanctity or moral superiority as on the growing conviction that they differed from the rest of the society in all aspects of their life.

XLV Incontro di Studiosi dell’Antichità Cristiana in Rome

Today the XLV Incontro di Studiosi dell’Antichità Cristiana started at the Institute Augustinianum in Rome. This year main topic is: “The Child in the Christian Sources (I-V Century)”. The member of our team, Stanisław Adamiak, is going to talk about the children of the clerics in the canons of the councils of the fourth and fifth century.
For the full program see HERE.

Ine Jacobs on the Christian attitude toward the classical statues

On Thursday, 11th May, on the Late Antique seminar Ine Jacobs from the University of Oxford will present the paper “Old statues, new meanings. Literary and archaeological evidence for Christian re-interpretation of classical statuary”.

The abstract of the paper:

In this paper I will review literary and epigraphic sources as well as material evidence for positive takes on ancient statuary in late antique centuries. I will argue that re-interpretation of statuary, in the sense of allocating new identifications to ancient statues, was much more common among late antique Christians than we currently assume. It is not something that occurred only from Mid-Byzantine times onwards, although Mid-Byzantine literary evidence has been given more attention.

The seminar, as usual, will take place in the library of the Department of Papyrology in the building of the Faculty of Law (Collegium Iuridicum I) at 4.45 PM.