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Religion, Dynasty, and Patronage in Early Christian Rome, 300–900

$46.99 (C)

Kate Cooper, Julia Hillner, Mark Humphries, Kate Blair-Dixon, Kristina Sessa, Hannah Jones, Conrad Leyser, Anne Kurdock, Marios Costambeys
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  • Date Published: February 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521131278

$ 46.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Traces the central role played by aristocratic patronage in the transformation of the city of Rome at the end of antiquity. It moves away from privileging the administrative and institutional developments related to the rise of papal authority as the paramount theme in the city's post-classical history. Instead the focus shifts to the networks of reciprocity between patrons and their dependents. Using material culture and social theory to challenge traditional readings of the textual sources, the volume undermines the teleological picture of ecclesiastical sources such as the Liber Pontificalis, and presents the lay, clerical, and ascetic populations of the city of Rome at the end of antiquity as interacting in a fluid environment of alliance-building and status negotiation. By focusing on the city whose aristocracy is the best documented of any ancient population, the volume makes an important contribution to understanding the role played by elites across the end of antiquity.

    • Showcases the importance and advantage of an interdisciplinary approach to urban history
    • Emphasises the role of aristocratic families and their inheritance strategies in transforming a civic environment
    • Makes use of overlooked sources (especially the martyr legends of Rome known as the Gesta Martyrum)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This volume contains scholarly and often innovative essays designed for scholars and late antiquity and the early Middle Ages." --H-Net

    "This book is a major contribution to be consulted by anyone looking at Rome and its influence in the early Middle Ages." --Early Medieval Europe

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521131278
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Kate Cooper and Julia Hillner
    Part I. Icons of Authority: Pope and Emperor:
    1. From Emperor to Pope? Ceremonial, space, and authority at Rome from Constantine to Gregory the Great Mark Humphries
    2. Memory and authority in sixth century Rome: the Liber Pontificalis and the Collectio Avellana Kate Blair-Dixon
    Part II. Lay, Clerical, and Ascetic Contexts for the Roman GESTA MARTYRUM:
    3. Domestic conversions: households and bishops in the late antique 'Papal legends' Kristina Sessa
    4. Agnes and Constantia: domesticity and cult patronage in the Passion of Agnes Hannah Jones
    5. 'A church in the house of the saints': property and power in the Passion of John and Paul Conrad Leyser
    Part III. Religion, Dynasty, and Patronage:
    6. Poverty, obligation, and inheritance: Roman heiresses and the varieties of senatorial Christianity in fifth-century Rome Kate Cooper
    7. Demetrias ancilla dei: Anicia Demetrias and the problem of the missing patron Anne Kurdock
    8. Families, patronage and the titular churches of Rome, c.300–c.600 Julia Hillner
    9. To be the neighbour of St Stephen: patronage, martyr cult, and Roman monasteries, c.600–c.900 Marios Costambeys and Conrad Leyser.

  • Editors

    Kate Cooper, University of Manchester

    Julia Hillner, University of Manchester


    Kate Cooper, Julia Hillner, Mark Humphries, Kate Blair-Dixon, Kristina Sessa, Hannah Jones, Conrad Leyser, Anne Kurdock, Marios Costambeys

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