Session504
TitleViolating Sacred Space in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, I: The Rhetorics of Violation
Date/TimeTuesday 5 July 2022: 09.00-10.30
 
SponsorUtrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht
 
OrganiserKay Boers, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Rob Meens, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
 
Moderator/ChairRob Meens, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
 
Paper 504-a Breaching the Walls: Violating Rome's Sacred Space
(Language: English)
Saskia Stevens, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Index Terms: Archaeology - Sites; Architecture - Religious; Geography and Settlement Studies; Religious Life
Paper 504-b Literary and Spatial Topoi: Distortions of Truth in Relation to Sacred Space
(Language: English)
Dirk Rohmann, Arbeitsbereich Alte Geschichte, Universität Hamburg
Index Terms: Archaeology - Sites; Mentalities; Religious Life; Rhetoric
Paper 504-c The Politics of Victimhood and the Violent Transformation of City and Church in Late Antiquity
(Language: English)
Kay Boers, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Index Terms: Architecture - Religious; Language and Literature - Latin; Political Thought; Rhetoric
 
AbstractIn these sessions we investigate conflicts revolving around, or making use of the concept of sacred space, and in particular debates surrounding the violent intrusion of ecclesiastical space. In the Late Antique and Early Medieval worlds, churches were generally regarded as sacred and were meant to be kept free from any kind of pollution, and in particular, worldly violence. The shedding of blood within its enclosed confines was not only regarded as a serious violation of the sacredness of the church building, but it was also a transgression of the legal provisions of asylum. These norms, however, did not stop people from using violence in churches and sometimes killings took place even inside the church's most sacred areas. This peculiar type of violence not only created great scandal, it also produced highly charged debates extolling the victims and exonerating the perpetrators.