Presbyters at IMC Leeds 2018, once again

In just more days, medievalists and Late Antique historians from all over the world will gather again at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds. Since the inaugural session organized by our project in Leeds in 2016, we eagerly presented ideas and preliminary results of our work in the “Presbyters in the Late Antique West”. We were inviting distinguished scholars to provide their insights into the role of the clergy in the late antique and early medieval society. In the first year, we were discussing social relations of clerics, last year we focused on their economic status and activity, while this year, in our two main sessions, we will take a closer look at the clerical households, see the previous post.

IMC at Leeds was always a great place to find an involved crowd of Congress participants who gladly contributed to the discussion, whose questions and comments made us think about new research paths and possibilities. No surprise then, that this year we prepared for the Congress with unwavering enthusiasm. Apart of two sessions looking at the clerical households, we co-organised with Kati Ihnat from Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen and Jamie Wood from the University of Lincoln two sessions about the religious praxis in the Early Medieval Iberia:

Session 1604, Thursday, July 5, 11.15–12.45, 

Religious Praxis and Pastoral Care in Early Medieval Iberia, I: Liturgy

Purificación Ubric Rabaneda, Departamento de Historia Antigua, Universidad de Granada, The Best Faith: Showing Christian Superiority through Liturgy in 5th-Century Iberia

Molly Lester, History Department, United States Naval Academy, Maryland, Effective Experience: Religious Orthodoxy, Ritual Performance, and Contacting the Divine in 7th-Century Iberia

Jeffrey A. Bowman, Department of History, Kenyon College, Ohio, Space, Cult, and Community in Early Medieval Iberia

Session 1704, Thursday, July 5, 14.15–15.45, 

Religious Praxis and Pastoral Care in Early Medieval Iberia, II: Learning

Marta Szada, Instytut Historyczny, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Do You Need a Priest to Be a Christian? Pastoral Care and Lay Piety in Visigothic Spain

Kati Ihnat, Afdeling Geschiedenis, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen, Learning by Example?: Commemoration of Saints in Early Medieval Iberia

Graham Barrett, School of History & Heritage, University of Lincoln, Canons without Councils in Early Medieval Iberia


But this is not all! Jerzy Szafranowski from our project in cooperation with the Network for the Study of Late Antique & Early Medieval Monasticism organized a session about clerics and monks:

718: Tuesday, 3 July, 14:15–15:45

Relations between Clerics and Monks in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages

Matheus Coutinho Figuinha, Departamento de História, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil, Monasticism and Anti-Donatism in Augustine of Hippo

Jerzy Szafranowski, Instytut Historyczny, Uniwerstytet Warszawski, Grounds for Clerical Ordinations of Monks in Late Antique Gaul

Matthew Mattingly, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, A Crisis of Identity: Canons, Monks, and the 9th-Century Reform of Saint-Denis


We are already looking forward to great papers, fruitful discussions, and, of course, to the unique atmosphere of the IMC!

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Clerics and Their Households in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages – Sessions at IMC Leeds 2018

We are happy to announce that the Presbyters in the Late Antique West Project is again present at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds. We organize two sessions on Tuesday, 3 July:

Session 517, Tuesday 3 July, 09.00-10.30

Social Sciences Building: Room 10.05

  1. The Canonical Legislation on the Families of Clergy, 4th-7th Centuries – Stanisław Adamiak (University of Warsaw).
  2. Enforcing Sexual Continence in the Households of Married Clergy – David Hunter (University of Kentucky).
  3. A Nestorian Monastery at Hura and its Regional Context – Daniel Varga (Israeli Antiquity Authority).

 

Session 617, Tuesday 3 July, 11.15-12.45

Social Sciences Building: Room 10.05

  1. Slaves and servants in clerical households in the early middle ages – Lisa Bailey (University of Auckland).
  2. Monks and Monasteries in Late Antique Egypt: Between Household and Estate – Joanna Wegner (University of Warsaw).
  3. Presbyters in the Tituli in Fifth Century Rome: Patrons and Clients – Michele Renee Salzman (University of California at Riverside).

 

Here are the abstracts of the papers:

Stanisław Adamiak

The Canonical Legislation on the Families of Clergy, 4th-7th Centuries.

The existence of the wives and children of the clergy was an obvious fact in the life of the ancient Church, although the continence was strongly recommended for the bishops, presbyters and deacons at least since the end of the fourth century. The canonical registration tried to regulate the lives in the households of the clerics. The presence of “external women” was prohibited there. The  children of clerics were expected to behave in an exemplary way. Many of them followed their fathers in the service of the Church, and became clerics or consecrated virgins. It helped to ease the conflicts regarding the property left by the clerics.

 

David Hunter

Enforcing Sexual Continence in the Households of  Married Clergy.

The topic of my paper would be the problems raised in the households of married clerics by the appearance and gradual enforcement of a requirement of permanent sexual continence for the higher clergy (bishops, presbyters, and deacons). Although legislation limiting the sexual activity of married clerics began to appear in the late fourth century, clergymen were usually required to remain living with their wives, or, at least, to provide them material support. A variety of sources, from the canons of western synods to the histories of Gregory of Tours, attest that serious problems arose from this arrangement and a variety of proposals were made to deal with these difficulties.

 

Daniel Varga

A Nestorian Monastery at Hura and its Regional Context

An impressive Byzantine monastery was exposed in a salvage excavation along the road connecting Beer Sheva and the Dead Sea.

The structure was divided into a number of halls and a dining hall. Beautiful mosaic floors were exposed in the prayer hall and dining hall.

The prayer hall was paved with a colorful leaf design. The dining hall mosaic included floral depictions, geometric shapes, amphorae, baskets and birds.  Four Greek dedicatory inscriptions were integrated in the mosaic carpets. They mention the names of the monastery abbots and the date of the laying of the mosaics, dating to the second half of the 6thcentury CE. The multi-ethnic and multi-lingual composition of the dwellers of the coenobium at Hura is perhaps reflected in the decision to render one of the inscriptions in two languages, Greek and Syriac.

It seems that the monastery, located near a Byzantine settlement, was an urban monastery, one in a series of monasteries along the road that connected Transjordan with the Berosabba Valley and served several different Christian groups.

 

Lisa Bailey

Slaves and servants in clerical households in the early middle ages

Clerical households, like all other elite early medieval households, were full of slaves and servants who kept the buildings clean, the rooms lit, and the inhabitants fed. Unlike other servi, however, the men and women who performed these acts did so in an environment in which service to God was praised as the highest morality, and in which performing demeaning tasks could be a sign of sanctity. This paper argues that serviin clerical households were therefore considered different, and that they were potentially elevated by their service.

 

Joanna Wegner

Monks and Monasteries in Late Antique Egypt: Between Household and Estate

Questions of economic organisation and management make only rare appearances in the corpora of monastic literary writings from late antique Egypt, but they are not entirely absent. The economic aspect of late antique Egyptian monasticism, however, has been increasingly explored mainly following the progress of Greek and Coptic papyrology. Documentary texts related to monasteries in the Nile Valley dated to the 6th–8th c. allow us to see communities of monks as economic units which display a great variety of functional arrangements. The communication will focus on examples of these arrangements in an attempt to understand their functions in sustaining the communities within rural socio-economic networks. The issues addressed will touch upon such matters as the scale and origin of monastic property and the resulting organisation of managerial tasks within the communities.

 

 

Michelle Renee Salzman  

Presbyters in the Tituli in Fifth Century Rome: Patrons and Clients

 

The titular churches of Rome (tituli)began as privately funded ecclesiastical foundations by wealthy lay and clerical patrons in post-Constantinian Rome. The bishop-focused Liber Pontificalisunderscores the complex of aristocratic and priestly patronage and administration behind Rome’s titular foundations and their finances.

A reconsideration of the evidence for the donations and financial oversight of the 29 fifth century titular churches in Rome leads me to argue that regardless of the original circumstances of these foundations, the tituli were only nominally part of the bishop’s church and remained semi-autonomous in terms of liturgy and financial matters.  Not only were the presbyters the real administrators of these foundations and in control of its finances to a large degree, a good many of them gained influence in the church, as demonstrated by their networks of familial and aristocratic connections.   A new prosopography of the families and aristocratic patrons associated with the titular priests included in a famous subscription list to the acts of a synod held in Rome in 499 demonstrates the strength of the networks of presbyters, and shows the strategies that presbyters used to ensure their on-going influence in fifth century Rome.   In many ways, the presbyters ran their households as did their aristocratic patrons and contemporaries; they made marriage alliances for family members, and acted as patrons of the church.

 

IMC Leeds 2018 CfP: Clerics and Their Households

At the forthcoming Medieval Congress in Leeds (2-5 July 2018) the team of the ‘Presbyters in the Late Antique West’ Project, based at the University of Warsaw, together with Lisa Bailey of the University of Auckland, organizes a strand on the everyday life of clergy. We would like to have a glimpse of what was happening inside the houses of the clerics, especially in the period when they were still running large family households.

This session will seek to answer the following questions:

  • What was the legal status of the wives and children of clerics, both from the ecclesiastical and civil point of view?
  • What was the position of the servants and slaves in the households of clerics?
  • How did the relations with their familiars and neighbours influence the opinions and preaching of the clerics?
  • What do archaeology and epigraphy tell us about the living conditions of the clergy in the first millennium?

Those interested in presenting papers on such and similar topics are requested to send the title and a short abstract (ca 100 words) to Stanisław Adamiak (s.adamiak2@uw.edu.pl) and Lisa Bailey (lk.bailey@auckland.ac.nz) by 20 September 2017. Please note that unfortunately the project is unable to fund speakers’ expenses.

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.

 

20170705_093236 (1)

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

Presbyters on the IMC Leeds 2017

On the forthcoming International Medieval Congress in Leeds our project organises two sessions about the income and property of clerics in Late Antiquity.

Late antique clerics had diverse sources of income. Some of them were rich when they got ordained, but others had to earn their life. These sessions will seek to answer the following questions: How much did the clerics rely on church property and revenues? What were other sources of their income, either those linked with their religious expertise or unconnected with ecclesiastical activity? How were the frontiers fixed between not only private property and revenues of clerics and those of the church, but also between the resources of diverse groups of clergy?

The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, 5 July, 9.00-10.30

Income and Property of Clerics in Late Antiquity, I (session 1031)

chair: Ralph W. Mathisen, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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

Wednesday, 5 July, 11.15-12.45

chair: Ralph Mathisen, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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

See also at the IMC website: session 1, session 2

CfP: Clerical income and property in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages (IMC Leeds 2017)

At the forthcoming Medieval Congress in Leeds (3-6 July 2017) the team of the ‘Presbyters in the Late Antique West’ Project, based at the University of Warsaw, organises a strand on the income and property of clergy. In most literary and normative sources, we usually see clerics entirely dependent on diverse types of subsidies related to their ecclesiastical office.

But some casual remarks and documentary evidence show that the reality was more complicated. The actual sources of income of clerics were diverse. This session will seek to answer the following questions:

  • How much did the clerics rely on church property and revenues?
  • What were other sources of their income, either those linked with the religious expertise or unconnected with ecclesiastical activity?
  • How the frontiers were fixed between the private property and revenues of clerics and those of the church, but also between the resources of diverse groups of clerics?

Those interested in presenting papers on such topics, particularly if focused on the period before c. 900, are requested to send the title and a short abstract (c. 100 words) to Robert Wiśniewski (r.wisniewski@uw.edu.pl) by 20 September. Please, note that unfortunately the project is unable to fund speakers’ expenses.