Episcopal petitions to the emperor: norm, practice and representation

Episcopal petitions to the emperor: norm, practice and representation

Join us for the first ANU Classics Centre Research Seminar for the year, presented by Dr Fabian Schulz.

This presentation runs for one hour in the AD Hope Conference Room (Room #128). A reception will follow in the Classics Museum. All welcome!

Thirty years after the Constantinian turn, which had strengthened the emperor’s power in the church, leading bishops were afraid that provincial bishops and heretics were able to gain the emperor’s attention and favour. To secure their own influence, resolutions regulating bishops’ contacts with the emperor were passed at councils in Antioch and Serdica. In a first step, this paper attempts to reconstruct the respective motivations and objectives of the bishops. Subsequently, hypotheses are formed about the preferences of the emperors, who were directly affected by the regulations. Were the regulations (particularly in the West) directed against the power of the court, as scholars think? Finally, in a case study devoted to Athanasius of Alexandria, we will examine whether these regulations took hold in imperial and ecclesiastical practice and how their observance and disregard were staged literarily. In this way, norm, practice, and representation will be brought together to form an overall picture that promises to shed new light on the relationship between church and state in both east and west of the Roman Empire.

Date & time

Wed 08 Mar 2023, 3.15–4.15pm


AD Hope Conference Room 1.28


Dr Fabian Schulz (Tübingen)


Dr Estelle Strazdins


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