Session104
TitleBecoming the Bishop: Examinations of Episcopal Self-Fashioning, I - The Early Middle Ages
Date/TimeMonday 4 July 2022: 11.15-12.45
 
SponsorEPISCOPUS: Society for the Study of Bishops & Secular Clergy / PSALM Network (Politics, Society & Liturgy in the Middle Ages)
 
OrganiserPaweł Figurski, Instytut Historii im. Tadeusza Manteuffla Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Warszawa
 
Moderator/ChairEvan A. Gatti, Department of History & Geography, Elon University, North Carolina
 
Paper 104-a Episcopal Self-Fashioning: The Post-Augustinian Authors and the Apocalypse
(Language: English)
Mor Hajbi, Department of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Index Terms: Ecclesiastical History; Political Thought; Religious Life; Theology
Paper 104-b Famulus Dei: Some Reflections on the Passio of Praejectus of Clermont
(Language: English)
Emanuele Piazza, Dipartimento di Scienze della Formazione, Università degli Studi di Catania
Index Terms: Ecclesiastical History; Religious Life
Paper 104-c Bishops between the Exercise of Episcopal Office and Local Needs: The Construction and View of Authority in Thietmar of Merseburg's Chronicon
(Language: English)
Andrea Vanina Neyra, Instituto Multidisciplinario de Historia y Ciencias Humanas, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas / Instituto de Historia Antigua y Medieval 'José Luis Romero', Universidad de Buenos Aires
Index Terms: Ecclesiastical History; Local History; Religious Life
 
AbstractThis session will explore the many ways that medieval bishops responded to local, regional, and institutional influences in order to create effective, individualized identities. While the office of the medieval bishop outlines certain rights, privileges, and responsibilities, how one managed those rights, privileges, and responsibilities varies greatly. At times, this variation was in response to local needs, conflicts, or traditions, but in other cases, the actions of a bishop seemed to point towards ambition, piety, or some other notable characteristic of a historical individual. By examining how a bishop defined himself within and beyond the office, we gain a better understanding of which aspects of a historical bishop are defined by the legacy of the apostolic office and which might be unique to the men who occupied it.

'Episcopal Self Fashioning: The Post-Augustinian Authors and the Apocalypse'
The paper will focus on the different notions of Apocalypticism presented in the writings of the 5th-century post-Augustinian authors (Paulus Orosius, Salvian of Marseille, Prosper of Aquitaine, and Quodvultdeus of Carthage), as a key example of episcopal self-fashioning. First, I will outline the Post-Augustinians' different attitudes towards the Apocalypse. Second, I will analyze the authors' social reality and political aspirations and discuss the socio-cultural consequences of their ideas on the communities of believers. Thus, I aim to show the centrality of 5th-century bishops and illustrate the diversity of opinions in the generative Augustinian school of thought and translocal intellectual community.

'Famulus Dei: Some Reflections on the Passio of Praejectus of Clermont'
The Passio Praeiecti episcopi et martyris Arverni focuses the rise of the saint to the head of the diocese of Clermont, an ecclesiastic career charcterizated by the various miracles performed by Praejectus himself. The thaumaturgical virtues that he exhibited not only increased and consolidated his episcopal power, but sacrificed of his own life to t as a servant of God and for the benefit of his flock of believers. The martyrdom of Praejectus, which arose from the internal tensions of the complex political context of 7th-century Gaul, is in fact interpreted in the Passio as a means by which opposing factions within the city of Clermont could find equilibrium, a pacification with which the saint's earthly life, led by famulus Dei in the wake of faith, reached its climax.

'Bishops between the Exercise of Episcopal Office and Local Needs: The Construction and View of Authority in Thietmar of Merseburg's Chronicon'
Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg exercised the office between 1009 and 1018. His see had suffered from acts performed by Giselher, who, in order to take over the archbishopric of Magdeburg, agreed to dissolve the bishopric of Merseburg, which was in his hands. On his turn, Thietmar built his episcopacy under the consequences of the adverse context created by the dissolution of the see and its restoration in 1004 under Bishop Wigbert. Local needs for legitimacy of Thietmar's authority, reconstruction of the see and power relationships: in the last book of the Chronicle he states the significance of recording anything valuable for defending the survival of the bishopric in the future. In doing so, he made a general defence of the status and authority of bishops in several conflicts, even from other regions. This paper seeks to study the reciprocal interaction between Thietmar's construction of his authority and his view of other bishops' similar experiences.