The Formation of Papal Authority in Late Antique Italy: Roman Bishops and the Domestic Sphere
This book is the first cultural history of papal authority in late antiquity. While most traditional histories posit a 'rise of the papacy' and examine popes as politicians, theologians and civic leaders, Kristina Sessa focuses on the late Roman household and its critical role in the development of the Roman church from c.350–600. She argues that Rome's bishops adopted the ancient elite household as a model of good government for leading the church. Central to this phenomenon was the classical and biblical figure of the steward, the householder's appointed agent who oversaw his property and people. As stewards of God, Roman bishops endeavored to exercise moral and material influence within both the pope's own administration and the households of Italy's clergy and lay elites. This original and nuanced study charts their manifold interactions with late Roman households and shows how bishops used domestic knowledge as the basis for establishing their authority as Italy's singular religious leaders.
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Chapter 1 The Late Roman Household in Italy
Stewardship as an Elite Ideal
Episcopal Householding in Theory and Practice
Bishops and Lay Households
Marriage Property and Inheritance
Ambrosiaster aristocratic Arjava ascetic bishop of Rome Caelian Hill Cassiodorus century Chapter Christian clergy clerical household consecration Cooper council cubiculum deacons discussed domestic authority domestic sphere dominus domus Duchesne early earthly ecclesiae ecclesiastical elite householders emperor episcopal episcopal authority especially estate management ethical fact Gelasius gesta martyrum God’s Gregory Gregory’s Hilarus household management householder’s imperial Innocent Italian Italy Justinian landowners late antique late fifth late Roman household Laurentian schism Laurentius Leo’s letter Liber Pontificalis Lord’s marriage married matters MGH AA 12 narratives officials ofthe oikonomia oversight Passio Passion of St paterfamilias Pelagius Peter Pietri practices relationship religious rites ritual role Roman bishops Roman church Roman law Rome Rome’s scholars scriptura senatorial sermon sexual Simplicius Siricius sixth slaves social spiritual status steward stewardship Symmachus texts Thiel titular priests tituli traditional underlined wealth Wirbelauer 1993 Xystus Xystus III