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Journal ArticleDOI

The History of Theophylact Simocatta

01 Jan 1987-Classical World (JSTOR)-Vol. 80, Iss: 4, pp 324
About: This article is published in Classical World.The article was published on 1987-01-01. It has received 131 citations till now.
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Book ChapterDOI
01 Sep 2008
TL;DR: Theologians in the late Roman period were, in religion as in much else, a fractured age as discussed by the authors, and leaders of government and church pleaded for universal loyalty to empire and orthodoxy above all.
Abstract: Theological identities, regional differences Under the heading “identities,” we must ask what gave late Roman Christian communities their specific characters. We are dealing with a plural: “Christianities.” The late Roman period was, in religion as in much else, a fractured age. What lay at the root of the resulting variety? Leaders of government and church pleaded for universal loyalty – to empire and orthodoxy above all. By 600 CE, Christians found themselves nevertheless divided geographically into four main blocs. The Latin West was extensively settled by “barbarians” and strained in its relations with the East. The “Chalcedonian” church, centered on Constantinople, retained a more nuanced attachment to the Council of 451. Disaffected Christians in Egypt and western Syria, opposed to the Council, subscribed more explicitly to a “one-nature” or “miaphysite” theology. The church of East Syria distanced itself increasingly from all such preoccupations, deeply affected by its proximity to Persia and the Arabs. It is tempting to describe and therefore explain those divisions in terms of theological dispute. Dispute there certainly was, and it was not a mere front for other principles or prejudices: the issues at stake affected the core of Christian belief and must be paid respect. The disorder and acrimony of the fifth and sixth centuries had roots reaching back at least to the Council of Nicaea (325). Arius, condemned at that council, appeared to qualify the divinity ascribable to Jesus. Forceful opponents of his position – notably Apollinarius of Laodicea (d. c. 390) – downplayed the permanence of God the Son’s humanity in the name of divine unity.

25 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Sep 2008

25 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Sep 2008
TL;DR: In the early Middle Ages, the Roman Empire had been Christianized by the end of the fourth century as mentioned in this paper and the majority of the Roman population had accepted the faith by the beginning of the fifth century.
Abstract: Christianity, deviance, and paganism Officially the Roman Empire had been Christianized by the end of the fourth century. Although the barbarians who crossed its frontiers in the fourth and fifth centuries were pagan, the majority of them soon accepted Christianity. By the sixth century the religion had even spread beyond the borders of what had been the empire. Christians were to be found in the Celtic west, notably Ireland, and also in the heartlands of Germany in the land of the Thuringians. On the other hand Christianity was by no means a monolithic religion, even in its old heartlands. The leaders of the church might have wanted it to be, but the bishops of Rome, Constantinople, and Alexandria, to name but three, frequently differed in their own definitions of their religion. Moreover different regions and groups adopted different doctrines and different patterns of organization, not least because of preexisting social patterns. This is most obvious in a region as distinctive as Ireland, but every part of Christendom had its own practices: its own liturgy as well as its own attachment to different saints and cults. The depth of Christianization was also a matter of concern. Many pre-Christian practices intended to ensure good harvests or safe childbirth, to predict the weather, or to ward off evil had not been abandoned, and indeed in some cases would not be abandoned until well into the modern period. Leading bishops, whose own religious commitment was radically more impressive than that of the majority of the population, understood their religion, and the demands it made, very differently from most of the laity.

25 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Dec 2005
TL;DR: In Ireland, the hereditary principle was so ubiquitous that it was natural for it to apply within the church as well as mentioned in this paper, and women were generally under the authority of their father, husbands or son, and had limited scope for independent action.
Abstract: This chapter deals with the primal, pagan religion of Ireland. As for the position of women, Irish society was strongly patriarchal: women were generally under the authority of their father, husband or son, and had limited scope for independent action. Irish society was hierarchical, and the law tracts list several different ranks, each with its own honour price. The basic structure was that of kings, lords, and ordinary freemen, all of whom were free and had their own legal independence. By ad 500, it is likely that Christianity had been preached throughout Ireland, but far from certain that it had yet been embraced by a majority of the population. In Ireland, paganism was so strongly entrenched that Christianity had to struggle for well over a century before winning formal acceptance. In Irish society, the hereditary principle was so ubiquitous that it was natural for it to apply within the church as well.

24 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Sep 2008
TL;DR: Isidore, the first-century bishop of Seville, provided generations of Christian altar servants with explicit instructions as to the care and cultivation of the public persona of the priestly body as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: In his famous treatise on the origins of ecclesiastical offices, Isidore, bishop of Seville (d. 636 CE), provides generations of Christian altar servants with explicit instructions as to the care and cultivation of the public persona of the priestly body. These directives include a section on the management of the masculine voice during the celebration of the liturgy. Here, Isidore counsels his priests to refrain from uttering obsence language, to be mindful of both gesture and gait, and to monitor the pitch and gravity of their elocutions when performing sacred rites. According to Isidore, the priestly voice should be clear and simple, and it should possess the full vigor of manhood; it should never make rustic or clownish noises, nor should it sound too servile or too lofty, too fractured or too delicate. The lector uses his voice as an instrument through which he penetrates the intellects of his hearers. Most importantly, the perfect liturgical voice should in no way sound effeminate. In order to avoid the risk of appearing femineus (“effeminate,” “womanly”), the lector’s movements must be infused with gravitas (“dignity,” “power”). Scholars of classical gender and sexuality would immediately recognize vestiges of Roman views on the elite male body in Isidore’s treatise on the clergy. In fact, the connection between Rome and Visigothic Spain is direct –the bishop of Seville summons the oratorical mastery of the first-century rhetorician Quintilian to revamp the image of the modern priest. Quintilian, in his Institutio Oratoria (c.90), provides meticulous instructions to neophyte orators as to the girding of the body, the proper positioning of the fingers, and somber striding.

24 citations