10-14 August 2015


Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity

This workshop investigated the role that the banishment of Christian clerics played in the Christianisation of the late Roman empire and the institutionalisation of the late antique Christian Church. Exile was the prime method secular and ecclesiastical authorities employed to address religious dissidence during late antiquity. This workshop proposed to shift the attention away from questions surrounding the legal forms of and motivations behind clerical exile, which have been well researched, to the period of exile itself. The papers in this workshop applied traditional and innovative methods to show that events and social encounters during exile had a profound impact not only on the experiences of exiled clerics themselves, but also on the short- and long-term formation of Christian law, theological doctrine, literature and rituals, and hence on late antique society at large.

We held three sessions: the first one concentrated on different methods to investigate both short- and long-term impact of clerical exile (including social network analysis, legal anthropology, spatial analysis, and comparative history); the second and third ones investigated a series of iconic and less well-known cases of clerical exile in the light of the methods proposed.  One of the ‘case studies’ workshops concentrated on exile from the third to the early fifth century, while the second one investigated the fifth and sixth centuries. In this way, we were able to trace the increased interaction between Christianisation and the legal penalty of exile around the late antique Mediterranean, as well as changes and continuities in the realities and representations of exile experiences over the course of the period.

Session 1: Late Antique Clerics in Exile I: Methods, Concepts and Patterns

Dr Julia Hillner (Sheffield; Department of History), ‘Late Antique Clerical Exile and Social Network Analysis: a Feasible Enterprise?’

Harry Mawdsley (Sheffield; Department of History), ‘Comparing Clerical Exile in the Post-Roman Kingdoms’

Dr Eric Fournier (West Chester University, Department of History), ‘Constantine the Trendsetter: Exile as the Normative Sanction for Bishops’

Dr David Natal (Vienna; Austrian Academy of Science), ‘I will never desert you’. Rhetorics of Exile and Ambrose of Milan’

Session 2: Late Antique Clerics in Exile II: Beginnings

Prof Jörg Ulrich (Halle; Department of Church History), ‘Dionysius of Alexandria in Exile: Evidence from his Letter to Germanus (Eus. Caes., h.e. VII 11)’

Dr Jennifer Barry (University of Michigan, Near Eastern Studies), ‘Receptions of Exile: Athanasius of Alexandria’

Dr Hiltrud Merten (University of Trier), ‘Athanasius in Trier: Archaeological and Epigraphical Evidence’

Dr Jakob Engberg (Aarhus; Department of Culture and Society: Church History and Practical Theology): ‘Exile, Petitions, Networks and the Dissemination of “Donatist” Congregations’

Session 3: Late Antique Clerics in Exile III: Consolidation

Dr Dirk Rohmann (Sheffield; Department of History), ‘Enforced Career Changes and Clerical Exile (5th-6th c.)’

Prof Uta Heil (Vienna; Institut für Kirchengeschichte), ‘Fulgentius and Exile’

Prof Margarita Vallejo (Alcala; Department of History and Philosophy): ‘Banished Bishops Were Not Alone: The Two Cases of Theodorus Anagnostes, Guardian and Assistant’